Wuxiaworld > Badge in Azure > 985 Ghost Ship Part 1

985 Ghost Ship Part 1

The Dragon Remains Combat Vessel did not have much space in its hold, but there was one particular area that was used specifically for transporting troops. When the situation called for it, the Dragon Remains Combat Vessel was capable of transporting over 600 troops.

At the time, that area was largely unused, and as such, there were some construction materials lying around, all of which were high-grade woods that had been produced by Metatrin. As Saleen planned to go to Ceylon City, and he planned to build a palace there, he did not see a need to use his own space equipment to transport the wood.

There were currently 289 troops in that area. The captain of that specific merchant ship was brought to the room above them and was questioned by Truman.

Truman was hardly anyone worth mentioning in Metatrin City, as there were simply too many other powerful people there. As such, a level five grand mage was little more than just another face in the crowd.

Saleen's influence had rubbed off on Truman enough for him to learn to go about things carefully. He had brought 12 ancient warriors and 20 personal guards, all of whom had originally served under Saleen.

When he went to pay a visit to the captain, all of those personal guards had elvish alchemy crossbows with them, all of which were hidden in the walls currently. If they found anything amiss, those 20 crossbow bolts would have been more than enough to kill even a level seven sorcerer!

The captain changed into something clean, then sat down at a table across from Truman. He looked rather nervous.

Truman wore a grey magic robe. Even though the captain knew very little about mages, he knew enough to understand that the one who was sitting across him was not someone that he could take lightly. Regardless of how many sorcerers there were in the world, a grand mage was akin to a god among the common people.

"Sir mage..." the captain addressed him politely.

The common tongue that was spoken by the captain was a very standard one, with every syllable pronounced clearly. "I'm Naberyne, a member of the Ironwall City Chamber of Commerce of the Sikeqinya Empire. I thank you for your rescue, sir."

That was the first time that Captain Naberyne had ever seen a ship that was capable of weathering a storm. He also knew that those he was talking to at the moment were not Sikeqinyans. He thought they were probably from Cloudflow. So, he had to wonder...

Why would someone from Cloudflow be here? That area around Black Dungeon Island was something that even Cloudflow ships would have had a hard time passing through! If they were to head west, they would have had to come here from the Deep Sea and go through the Sea of the Dead. That level of danger would have been enough to make any fleet despair!

It never crossed Naberyne's mind that someone would have ventured through the northern seas, where icebergs were found everywhere, and reached their current location. The one who sat across from him had, in fact, been someone who had destroyed his home, Ironwall City.

Even if he had learned about the destruction of Ironwall City, he would not have done anything about it. After all, he was just a merchant. Besides, he only saw the city as a touchpoint, as it was not his actual birth city anyway.

"Ironwall City Chamber of Commerce?" Truman frowned. He thought that if Saleen knew that he was someone from Ironwall City, he might not have actually saved him!

"Indeed, sir. So... You know where it is?" Naberyne asked.

"Of course. But... Ironwall City… It no longer exists." Truman had no intention of covering up anything in front of the merchant. So, he decided to tell him the whole truth.

Upon hearing this, Naberyne was dumbfounded. He remained speechless for quite some time after that, as he was having a hard time comprehending Truman's words.

So, Truman went on to ask, "What is your ship doing all the way out here? This is the Deep Sea!"

Naberyne smiled bitterly and said, "Sir mage, I'm guessing that you're not a Sikeqinyan then?"

"I'm not," he replied.

"Your confusion is understandable then. Sikeqinyan merchants basically travel by land. The trade routes are accessible and convenient, and we're often seen everywhere on the mainland. But, as for the sea… If merchants at sea were to survive, we needed to go start smuggling. In fact, 90 percent of the smuggling ships of Sikeqinya are royal warships. As such, lesser merchants like us need to avoid safer routes in the nearer waters, instead traveling through routes in the Deep Sea."

"Isn't that quite risky?" Truman asked.

"We have no choice. The nearer waters are filled with the royal navy's smuggler-hunting ships, and if they catch us, our cargo will be forfeited and the captain will be sentenced to death," Naberyne explained.

Then, seeing that there was hardly any reaction from Truman, he added, "If one of those smuggler-hunting ships got lost and was left to fend for itself, it would have been possible for armed merchant ships like ours to sink them. So, smuggling at sea is something that you have to have a lot of brains to do successfully."

"High profits, I take it?" Truman asked.

"Sir, I'm sure you can see the answer to your question clearly as you look around. With the ship having sank, it's as if we've done all that work for nothing. That ship was shared by more than a dozen investors, which all divide the profits among them. Now, the profit totals will yield less than ten thousand pieces of gold each."

Truman nodded. He was from Sreeger Island, so he knew nothing about the value of gold as he was growing up. Then, all of his expenses were paid for when he came to Metatrin City, so he did not need to work. Hence, he had no idea whatsoever what such an amount really meant.

Naberyne relaxed a little bit when he saw Truman's expression. He had brought quite a lot of personal goods with him.

While common people were unable to use space equipment, that was not to say that he had no way of using such equipment. In fact, his space equipment was hanging around his neck as they spoke.

He intended to have the mages extract the goods that were stored within it when he returned to Ironwall City. After all, if it was only the goods on that ship they were talking about, the profits would indeed be rather meager.

"Where did this route that you took begin, and where did it lead to?" Truman had not actually wanted to see that captain. All of these questions were what Saleen had wanted him to ask.

Naberyne replied, "We departed from an island east of Royal Harbor, our goal being the Tanggulasi Empire. The empire has placed restrictions on trade, but smuggling is still a big thing there. The cargo of the ship..."

"Was meant to be sold in the Tanggulasi Empire, the money from which you would have then used to purchase local goods from the empire, which would have, in turn, yielded several times the profits than if they were traded on land. Am I correct?" Truman knew next to nothing about commerce, but his calculative abilities were far above common folks' nonetheless.

Truman then added, "Get to the point. Is that route a safe one?"

"Of course it isn't safe. While the Tanggulasian navy was far inferior compared to the Cloudflow's men, they were still not an entity that we merchants could have easily taken on. As such, we needed to go through the Deep Sea, even bribe some nobles and military along the way, before we were able to make it to shore. If we had encountered a storm, all of our efforts would have been for nothing," Naberyne said.

"Do you have a sea chart with you?" Truman had little interest in what Naberyne had to say.

"I do," Naberyne said.

"Give it to me. Take that as compensation for your rescue," Truman said.

Huh? Naberyne was confused by this, and he thought he must have heard him wrong.

"If it had not been for my rescuing you and your people, I would have had no need to take the warship into that storm! Do you know that just stopping here for a single hour costs us six hours of moving on the outside?" Truman added impatiently.

He was not a robber, after all. If he was, he would have just taken that chart by force!

"Alright," Naberyne said, while looking dejected.

That sea chart was a secret of the chamber of commerce, which would not have developed without the chart. In fact, that chart had been vital in making them the largest trade organization in Ironwall City.

He had ventured to the Tanggulasi Empire personally to procure important cargo, but he had never expected to meet such a peculiar storm along the way. In fact, the weather within a thousand-mile radius of where they were should have been fine, with zero chance of a storm appearing.

He was actually one of the most important shareholders in the Ironwall City Chamber of Commerce. This is why he had one of the three sea charts with him.

Truman was super into magic and had very little skills when it came to social interactions. Thus, he waited for Naberyne to take out the chart coldly, without speaking to him any further.

Naberyne had no way of dealing with a glare from a level five grand mage, and as such, he had no choice but to take a bracelet from his wrist, then take out a piece of crystal from it carefully and say, "Sir mage, the sea chart is in here. Can you..."

"I'll make a copy and return this to you," Truman interrupted him and said, while he took the crystal. He then turned around and immediately left the hold.

Now that Truman had finished his mission and had gotten the sea chart, he headed to where Saleen was. But, just when he walked out of the room, he slipped and fell.

The two ancient warriors behind him were astute enough to catch him before he hit the floor. At that moment, the entire ship shook violently. The chains that were on the sealed boxes that were being stored below snapped, and the ship was flung into the air by the waves, hitting the surface of the ocean hard as it came back down.

Saleen did not escape the predicament in the hold. However, since he was a level nine sorcerer, he fixed his legs on the ground and was able to open a magic array. Within that magic array, he saw that a huge eye was heading straight toward the Dragon Remains Combat Vessel!

Da*n it! Saleen felt incredibly frustrated upon seeing that huge thing, and he wondered... What kind of a monster is that? I've never even heard of something like that!

He then saw a sailboat forging through the waves right beneath the eye, which was actually something that Saleen was familiar with. It was a ghost ship!

When low-level ghosts possessed other living beings, they would not be able to maintain the internal organs of those bodies that they possessed, which meant that the organs would start to decay slowly. Humans had used ghosts for a time, creating many armies that consisted of ghosts, then sending them to fight against the gods. In fact, recent mages had tried to create similar ghost armies as well, but their efforts were halted, as they were unable to capture any ghosts.

Currently, the core of the storm was a hurricane that spanned over ten miles. Without the stabilization that had been provided by the metal sealed boxes, the Dragon Remains Combat Vessel was only able to maintain its stability through magic arrays, which caused their power usage to rise exponentially.

"Move in the northeastern direction! Quickly!" Saleen gave the order using magic sound arrays.

As such, his voice was heard all over the warship. There were no ordinary folk in the ship, as even the troops that had been assigned there were elites from the Kingdom of Metatrin, and the crew had been brought from Sreeger Island. Only Saleen's trusted people were allowed to have control of that ship.

At this point, the Dragon Remains Combat Vessel was only five miles away from that ghost ship. As the metal chains below had already snapped, there was no longer a need to even raise the anchor.

The magic power furnaces cranked up and started to operate at their full capacity, while the ship's bone wings spread out. It then turned around quickly and sped away, like there was no tomorrow!

Saleen was not worried about that eerie-looking eye. He still had his family badge, and there was no need to even aim when one was shooting at something that huge.

However, the storm had apparently not reached its full capacity. Hence, the storm, which covered more than a thousand miles, probably had something to do with the huge eye.

As the might of the storm increased, so did the possibility of the Dragon Remains Combat Vessel sinking. Saleen did not want to risk that. So, he planned to leave the dangerous area right away, promising himself that he would deal with that huge eye at a later date.

"Help me! Help me..." Suddenly, an eerie voice was heard.

It seemed to be coming from the huge eye in the faraway sky, which was at the very core of the hurricane. The voice seemed to be emanating from thousands of people, all of whom were speaking at the same time. But, it was surprisingly comprehensible and wasn't at all chaotic sounding.

Saleen grew even more anxious after hearing the voice. He had Nailisi take the level 12 magic nuclei, then hand them to the grand mages who were manning the magic power furnaces.

"Don't go! Help me..." Although the huge eye kept calling to him, Saleen continued commanding the mages to have their ship take flight, using an even louder voice.

"My liege, I've heard something about that thing before!" Nicholas, who was near Saleen, suddenly said.