161 Captain’s Gamble
Tycondrius did not enjoy most games played for leisure.
Concerning board games ruled for two players, he did not have the patience to gain the skills to excel. Dice games and games of chance, he could not take them seriously. What did it matter, the luck of the die or the draw?
In card games, Tycon was ruthlessly destroyed by Dragan, Sorina, Maximus, and Lone. He did have an advantage over the Kimura siblings, back when they were both alive. Tamaki couldn't read numbers. And everyone tacitly agreed to out Taree in any group game, because she made amusing faces when she was troubled.
Tycon had only agreed to a contest with Hai out of an illogical emotional reaction... He'd much rather enjoy the company of Rico and Sasha. He had left the two of them in the Captain's quarters when he went to investigate Lang Hai's clamoring.
He would lose face if he were to suddenly back out... so he decided to be patient. When the game grew dull, he would politely excuse himself.
[Game 1; Tycon, Lone, Hai, Garret]
Tycon looked over the cards in his hand, \"So the... sword cards trump everything else. This symbol, then?\"
Hai laughed, \"Pshhhh! You don't even know that much?! This game is gonna be in the bag!!\"
Lone and Garret exchanged worried looks.
Lone sucked in air through his teeth, \"Boss... How about you--\"
Tycon glared at him, \"Not now, Lone. Come back when you learn how to melt butter.\"
Lone promptly shut up.
Sergeant Garret grimaced, \"Uh... Cap'n, are you sure you wanna play that--\"
\"Shut up!\" Hai snapped, \"I know what I'm doing!\"
Shao Ran laughed giddily, \"Gahaha! Wow! You guys suck!! Real bad! Terrible!\"
Ran wasn't playing, but it didn't stop him from running his mouth. Tycon didn't feel any particular way about the man, but could easily see how his arrogance could repulse others.
Hai scowled, \"Oh, yeah, Ran? How about you put your coin where your cunt is?\"
Ran grinned toothily as he politely replaced Lone at the table, \"Ehh? Alright, sure. But I'm warning you, I'm known as the god of cards!\"
Tycon lifted the corner of his mouth, \"That's interesting. I've always wanted to kill a god.\"
Ran flexed his pectoral muscles, \"Ehhh?!! Is that a threat, noble-guy? I'll take you out right here!!\"
\"In. the. card game, Lieutenant,\" Tycon sighed.
\"...Oh. Yeeeeaah... That's what I meant.\"
[Game 6; Tycon, Ran, Hai, Garret]
Shao Ran slammed his hand on the table, \"This game is FREAKIN' STUPID!! Can't we just FIGHT?!\"
\"Play your turn, Lieutenant.\" Tycon scolded, \"It's the only way you'll get your coin back.\"
The golden-eyed Sea Wolf growled, \"You're not even using your own money! What the hells is that about?!\"
Lang Hai shot Ran a glare. The boy-Captain had been increasingly quiet, as time went on. Indignantly, Ran picked up his hand, playing the next card to continue the round.
Tycon continued solemnly, \"I'm utilizing what is available to me. My guild assets are my assets.\"
Lone whimpered from nearby, \"Boss... you don't pay me.\"
\"I fail to see how that's my problem.\"
Hai frowned, \"Ran, I'm cutting your pay.\"
Shao Ran's face turned bone-white at the mention.
Garret coughed, \"Eilean takes care of the pay, L.T.\"
Hai turned to Garret, \"Right. She might have issue docking a Lieutenant's pay, but won't have issue docking yours.\"
Garret promptly shut up.
\"Boss, please-- please, stop\" Sergeant Garret begged.
\"Listen to your Sergeant, young Captain. You're already over 500 silver in debt.\" Tycon gently chided, \"You've lost and you've nothing left to offer.\"
Hai snarled, the muscles on his arms bulging, \"Nothing to offer?! NOTHING TO OFFER?!?\"
He placed his ceremonial cutlass on the center of the card-barrel, \"I'll put my gods-damned RANK on the line!!\"
Tycon took the cutlass and pulled it from its scabbard. Thin. Flimsy, \"This... is supposed to be a Captain's sword? The design on the blade looked like it was smithed by a thumbless kobold.\"
Hai snatched the blade and scabbard back, \"Sh-shut up! They do not!\"
Tycon crossed his arms and glared. Shao Ran crossed his arms and glared.
Eleven of Seven shrugged, \"I concur. Also, I was not issued such a blade.\"
\"WHATEVER!!\" Hai shouted, \"How about you take the gods-damned Admiralty and then YOU can figure it out!!\"
Tycon rolled his eyes, \"Hai, you can't be serious. Take the sword back.\"
Hai bared his teeth, \"I'm the gods-damned Fleet Admiral! I can do whatever the hells I want!!\"
Suddenly, Garret fell backward. A dull clunk emanated from where the bald man struck his head on the floorboards. The short figure of Eleven of Seven climbed onto Garret's former seat, \"I will fight to keep this fleet in capable hands.\"
Ran narrowed his eyes with a dropped jaw, \"Ehhhhh?! Eleven? Wait-- that's not fair! This guy doesn't even have a brain!\"
The metal man tilted his helmet, \"Lieutenant Shao Ran, that has not stopped you.\"
[Game 13; Tycon, Ran, Hai, Eleven]
The hold had grown quiet, with only the 4 of them being its living occupants. Spirits and skeletons continued to shuffle around, performing minor duties and providing background noise.
Tycon stared at his cards and glared at his opponents.
He gnashed his teeth. He didn't trust Ran or Eleven any more than he did Hai. At least the boy-Captain had been running a fleet for awhile.
Tycon refused to let the fleet fall into anyone else's hands! He'd see the fleet headed by a snake if he had to!
« System, inquiry: What are the cards in everyone's hands? »
As a result of Tycon's cheat-ability, he easily won the remaining games. He returned the Admiralty to Lang Hai, which everyone seemed to (somewhat) agree was the best decision.
He got an honorary officer rank for his troubles-- it was a title without pay, not that the Sea Wolves could afford to keep him.
Soon enough, the 4 ships reached an island off the coast of the Beaurte territories. Young men and women from across the Kingdom flocked to Saint Guinefort island hoping to be trained as Beaurte Marines and enter the Sea Wolf fleet.
Tycon grinned at the prospect.
Training for Invictus awaited.