~ Chapter 92: The map (Part 1) ~
[Illsyore's point of view]
About half an hour later, the hut's door was opened and the rumored Pirate King stepped out. I was expecting a Black Beard type of fellow, with one wooden leg, an eye patch, a parrot on his shoulder, and a stuffy unwashed black beard. What I got instead was a 1.90 meters tall man with a big fat belly and without the distinctive eye patch of a feared pirate captain. He didn't have a beard, but he sported a twirled brown mustache instead, his hair was tied back in a pony tail, and the clothes he wore were fit more for a Renaissance period European noble rather than a scurvy pirate.
“Greetings, ye landlubbers!” he called out as he walked up to us.
The accent was definitely that of a pirate, but it seemed to be rather... forced.
“Are you the Pirate King?” I asked.
“Of course! I be the infamous cap'n Iffy De Mon! The most wanted man who ever sailed on the Endless Ocean!” he laughed with his hands on his hips.
“Endless Ocean?” I raised an eyebrow.
“That's what we be calling the dreaded waters around the three known continents.” he nodded.
“I see... What of the one between the continents?” I asked.
“Don'tcha know even that?” he furrowed his brow.
“Sorry, I'm not from around here.” I smirked.
“Hm. Well, the waters between all Three Continents are called Bachus Ocean.” he nodded.
That was a familiar name, but not because it was an ocean. My memories from Earth told me of the once revered roman god of wine and parties Bacchus, but also of the famous German composer Johann Sebastian Bach.
Does this mean that if I'll sail on that ocean I'll get drunk from wine while hearing relaxing classical music instead of the sounds of the waves? I thought with a raised eyebrow.
When we were still back at Fellyore Academy, the teachers there used the names Allasn Ocean, Thorya Ocean, and Sorone Ocean to describe the three masses of water surrounding the respective continents.
From this, I judged that either he was testing us or this was how the pirates called it. The term 'seven seas' didn't exist in this world because there weren't that many oceans. Besides, there were no actual seas to begin with.
“I'll keep that in mind.” I replied.
“You should!” he smirked and then looked over at Ayuseya “This one be a draconian woman, ain't that right?” he asked.
“Yes.” she replied in a calm tone of voice.
“I see... you and your kind, like all the other non-humans are worthless existences to this world.... Worthless, I say!” he declared raising a finger up. “But you look good... I may be able to get a few coins off of you if I sell ya to the right buyer.” he smirked as he lifted her chin up.
As I looked at him touching my wife like that, I felt the need to rip his head off, but I abstained... for now.
“This one is a... what you be exactly?” he furrowed his brow as he looked at Tamara, who was yawning.
“Nya~ Nekatar...” she replied calmly.
“Nekatar? With so little fur? Hm... you be selling with a better price than the scaly one over there.” he nodded to himself.
Tamara ignored him and scratched the back of her left ear.
“And you... You be human, right?” he asked as he looked at Zoreya.
She furrowed he brow, but didn't reply.
“A feisty one, me like it! I be keeping you for me self!” he laughed and then turned to look at me. “So, how does it feel to lose like this in front of me, eh lad?” he asked with a grin.
Lose to you? When and how? I wondered, but instead of saying this, I snorted and replied “I've seen worse on the Dungeon Continent.”
It was a lie. I had absolutely no idea how to get to the Dungeon Continent. Well, not completely, I could use the memories of some of the Dungeons inside me, but to be honest, I was reluctant. They were too chaotic and broken... I only knew for certain that it was somewhere West of here.
“Hm, so you say...” the Pirate King squinted his eyes at me and rubbed his chin.
It was clear he was looking at me with suspicious eyes, but this fellow didn't seem like one capable of distinguishing those with strength from those without. If he was, then just by standing in front of the unwavering Zoreya and Ayuseya, he would have acted more cautiously. As for Tamara, she was so good at playing the fool that even I had sometimes trouble figuring her out.
“Why ye all be here?” he suddenly asked as he looked into my eyes.
“Sightseeing.” I smirked.
Something triggered in him because he slapped me. Well... to say I was hurt from his strike would have been ridiculous. If I didn't move my head, his hand would have broke.
“Ouch...” I grumbled.
“Hm, ye sure are a tough bastard.” he said as he rubbed his hand.
That must have hurt him at least a little bit.
“I am a Master Ranked Adventurer, I should be!” I retorted.
When he heard me, he blinked surprised and then burst out into a loud laughter.
“What?” I glared at him.
“I heard that captain Grayheart had a Godlike among his ranks, but that seems too be nothing but a far fetched lie!” he scoffed.
I squinted my eyes at him.
Isn't he suspecting in the least bit that I might not be the strongest in the group? I thought.
The reason I gave a Master Rank instead of an Emperor or Godlike was just to see how he would react if he thought my wives were stronger. Technically, I was the strongest in our group, but each and one of us we were Over Supremes.
After he calmed down a little bit, he looked at me and then at my wives. Without saying another word, he turned around and snapped his fingers. At his order, the guards around us grabbed our chains and dragged us after him.
We walked past the small hut towards another cave at the back. It was a bit smaller than the one we came through, but not low enough for Ayuseya to have trouble standing. Because they didn't use a torch or Light Crystal, we could barely see where we were stepping, but neither the guards nor the captain seemed to have a problem with this. On the contrary, I would say that they could perfectly avoid every single stone in their way.
As for the four of us, we had no problems navigating through this darkness. Our reflexes were very good so even if we hit a stone, we could step around it without falling down. In case of Zoreya, she crushed them under her boots or kicked them out of the way, making her the most noisy one out of all of us.
After about 10 minutes of walking, we finally reached the end of the corridor. Here, captain Iffy took out a small Light Crystal and placed it on a nearby pedestal. When light shined inside the corridor, we were finally able to see the big stone doors blocking our way. Right between them was a small circle socket in which you could insert a disc of sorts.
That was exactly what captain Iffy did. From his Storage Crystal he took out the stone key and opened the doors.
Thanks to a loud grinding mechanism, the two doors were pulled back and opened the passage before us. Captain Iffy put his key away and then stepped through with a smug look on his face. We followed behind pulled by the guards.
“This place be secret from all but me and a few other pairs of eyes. Ye all are scurvy landlubbers unworthy of its greatness! Still, I be making a special case for ye all.” he smirked as he looked back at me.
In other words, once he gets the truth out of us, it's off with our heads or something like that? Although, it doesn't make sense to threaten to sell us if he planned on showing us such a secret... Is he an idiot by any chance? I thought and sighed to myself.
I was voting for the latter option.
Two minutes later, the captain stopped and pushed a small rock on the wall. I felt a very small quantity of Magic Energy flowing through a networks of sorts, and in the next moment, a row of Light Crystals illuminated our way.
“Wonderful ain't it not?” he asked with a smirk.
I raised an eyebrow at him, but he ignored me and continued to walk.
“By chance, do ye know what Rank I be?” he asked.
“Potato?” I replied.
“Fish?” Tamara asked.
“Minuscule?” Ayuseya giggled, but I felt like she was referring to something else.
“...” Zoreya kept her stoic expression.
“Funny ye be.” he spat. “Supreme.” he said and then continued to walk.
Was I supposed to be afraid?
The guards looked at each other when they didn't saw us react in an expected way. From this, I could only guess that the previous victims of the captain were either scared stiff or began to beg him for mercy by this point. There was a third category though: the fools who didn't believe him. As for us, we were in the fourth one... those who were stronger than a Supreme.
Thus, several minutes later, we finally arrived in what appeared to be the last room: a giant spherical chamber where even Ayuseya in her full dragon form could fit without a problem. Alongside the walls were countless piles of treasure of untold value... Jewels, gold coins, weapons, armors, books, and all sort of things the pirates had gathered over the centuries were all stacked here.
I gulped when I found myself in front of it all, and even Ayuseya was surprised by this scene. The only ones without a reaction were Zoreya and Tamara.
“What do ye all think of me treasure?” captain Iffy asked with a big smirk.
“It's... impressive.” I said.
But even so, I couldn't see anything that resembled a map. My eyes kept running over these piles, but I couldn't find it.
“Oh? Is be something missing?” he asked.
“You wouldn't happen to have special maps around here... you now... world maps?” I asked with a grin as I looked back at him.
He squinted his eyes at me.
“Hou? It seems me eyes not deceive me and me sure me ears be working as good as in me youth. Thy not here fo' gold and jewels. Ye be here for THEEE map, me be right?” he asked with a smirk.
“What if it be so?” I replied with the same pirate accent as him.
“Then ye really know of the Dungeon Continent? Right?” he asked.
“Yes...” I squinted my eyes at him.
“Then tell me... Do ye know how to get past the Barrier?” he asked as he stepped towards me.
“Which one?” I asked carefully.
There was no mention of a barrier in my memories. I thought.
“The one that keeps Allasn, Thorya, and Sorone from falling in the grasp of all those more powerful than all of the Supremes on these three continents put together! The one that lets the weak enter, but not the strong!” he replied and then pointed up.
A barrier of such size and strength sounded like an absurd fairy tale. A machination of one's over-reactive imagination, but after I had witnessed the strength of the monsters on Boss Island, I couldn't help but wonder if maybe he spoke the truth.
“Illsy... look at the ceiling.” Ayuseya told me with wide eyes.
I gaze up as well.
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