Chapter 1133: Shadow Tides
Translator: Transn Editor: Transn
Meanwhile in the east of the Swirling Sea.
A huge fleet comprised of five columns were floating around the Shadow Islands.
The most distinctive ship among them was the "Snow Wind", its colossal black iron body and the dark smoke billowing from the chimney standing out from all the other ships.
The deck of the "Snow Wind" was now teeming with busy sailors.
They were all running back and forth to make final preparation for the journey to the islands.
Thunder was instructing his team at the bridge, "You're all great explorers at the Fjords. Many of you have been to the Shadow Waters, so I'll make it short. These islands are not stationary. It will be really foggy there when the water rises. So, you have to be extremely careful, understand?"
"Captain, don't worry," a first mate promised as he patted his chest. "I've been working with you for years. When did you see me make a mistake? I'm more worried about the four Chambers of Commerce. They have a higher chance to make errors."
"That's right. It wouldn't be that easy to maneuver three-masted ships through those underwater reefs. It would be much safer if they ride on small boats."
"They probably think their giant ships are as nimble as the 'Snow Wind'. We aren't going to help them if they hit a rock!"
Everbody guffawed with laughter.
"If they're worried that we're going to keep treasures to ourselves, just ask their captains to hop on our ship!"
"Those Chambers of Commerce apparently want to butt in on us!"
"I told you they're all old cunning farts."
"But if we want to go further in the east, we have to have a huge fleet. There's nothing we can do about it."
Watching the roving mob, Camilla Dary heaved an almost inaudible sigh. Over the past one month, she had gained a basic understanding of the Shadow Waters. It appeared that this area was the center of the Swirling Sea where tides originated. The water level changed drastically when tides rose and receded. When water went down, thousands of reefs floated up above the surface of the water and formed numerous individual islands. The tides at the Sleeping Island were nothing compared to the ones here.
What was more incredible was that there had not been a single map of Shadow Islands up to this date despite that it had been discovered more than a decade ago. The reason for that was that the hidden rocks around here were constantly moving, including that enormous ruin. They had to wait for all the rocks to come out of the surface before crossing the ocean. Because of that, it was extremely hard to sail through this area.
However, these sailors looked more like a group of ferocious bandits than professional explorers. Explorers were highly respected among Fjords people, but among explorers themselves, they rarely respected each other. Most explorers preferred to act alone, who rarely took orders from others unless the other party was seemingly influential like Thunder.
As a former noble, Camila felt slightly disgusted about the jeers and boos. She would never have joined these people with Joan had this not been an order from Princess Tilly.
She was surprised that she started to miss the First Army in Neverwinter. At least, the soldiers of the First Army maintained absolute silence when they carried out a mission. They always stood erect, with a brisk and crisp air that afforded a pleasant vista to contemplate.
Camila thus quietly left the command room at the bridge for the deck.
She immediate spotted Joan who was playing at the stern of the ship, accompanied by Ms. Margaret.
At the sight of Camila, Joan immediately sought refuge from Margaret, only poking half of her head out.
Camila felt a little dispirited. Joan got along fairly well with the witches back in Neverwinter and had even made friends with Maggie and Lightning. She did not understand why Joan would not accept her like she accepted everybody else. She had known Joan for a very long time, longer than anyone except Margaret.
Margaret asked smilingly, "What's the matter? Not in a good mood?" She pointed at her own lips and said, "Your face gave you away."
"No," Camila said distractedly. "I'm just..."
"You don't like the atmosphere in the command room, right?" Margaret said as if having seen through her mind. "I told you not to worry about the exploration. Leave it to the guys. You just relax and enjoy this trip."
"How can I?" Camila replied, her brows furrowed. "I can't place my life in their hands."
"You don't trust Thunder?"
Margaret held her hand and paced to the railing. "I admire your sense of responsibility, otherwise Lady Tilly would not entrust the Sleeping Island to you. However, sometimes, you need to learn to trust people, not only Thunder but also Lady Tilly..."
"How can I not trust Princess Tilly?" Camila thought but remained silent all the same. She had been opposed to their relocation to Neverwinter from the beginning.
"You would go crazy if you're always so strained on the sea," Magaret went on. "They can be boisterous, but I can assure you they're all excellent sailors."
Camila finally got a chance to cut in, "Just a disclaimer, I didn't say anything..."
"But you're thinking that way, right?" Margaret talked over her. "Haha, that's OK. The nobles in the Four Kingdoms view us as barbarians, and we view Mojins just as the nobles view us. To be honest, I only see one noble who never discriminates people based on background."
That was Roland Wimbledon.
As much as Camila hated to admit it, this was the name that came to her mind.
Roland had openly claimed to support witches four years ago.
Camila now had no reason whatsoever to believe that Roland was plotting something, because the very witch he had rescued back then had now become the Queen of Graycastle.
Did she just need to put more faith in him?
While Camila was lost in thought, the ocean started to roar at a distance, as though molten waves were foaming and thousands of fishes swarming toward them. Camila was not sure whether this was her hallucination, for from what she could see, the sea was still perfectly tranquil.
"The water is going down," Margaret murmured.
"Ya... Ya..." Joan squeaked, tugging Margaret's sleeves nervously.
Around 15 minutes later, Camila saw changes.
A pointy stone started to rise from the surface of the water, and then more stones appeared. Rather than islands, what she saw was a sea of rocks and boulders. After the water dropped five meters, Camila saw reefs gradually reveal themselves underneath those stone pillars.
She held her breath.
This was her first time to see such an amazing scene. As the water level plummeted, the horizon seemed to be floating above the islands. Camila knew this was just a trick of the eye. Now the entire Shadow Waters transformed into a slope, with the horizon being the crest of the hill.
In spite of all of these changes, the sea was still surprisingly serene and motionless.
After around two hours, mists started to rise around the islands, and the Shadow Waters finally unveiled its mask, showing its true nature.
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