Under the full light of the moon, "Sanguine," the crimson ship of the far-continent, was sailing in the calm waters of Midgand. The only sound that you could hear was the ship's creaking as it sailed through the ocean. At the end of the dark corridor of the guest quarter, the face of a man could be seen reading a large book, illuminated by a single candle. At the same time, another individual approached him in the dark. He partly entered the lit-up area, and a figure of a sailor could be seen, waving a bottle of drink at the man. He does not respond.
"Drinks? Rum?" the sailor offered him, speaking in a high and croaky voice. The man looked at him and shook his head. "Not now" He refused, indifferently.
"Whatever," the sailor coarsely said and sat beside him.
"You know, lad; the only thing you did all these two months was either reading those god damn books or smoking your pipe on the deck," The drunk sailor said in a friendly voice.
"I did drink a few bottles," the man uncaring replied, eyes still following the lines of the book.
"Pathetic," the sailor said in an insulting tone, "How can this matter… those books you read, be as important as "Hiccup!"
"A few more seconds and I can be at peace…" The man whispered to himself.
"Huh, you… you Hiccup! Young people are always taking life so seriously that you can't even live, live, the life to its fullest..." The sailor's voice was turning out to be comedic.
"Was that even a sentence?" The man raised his head and asked irritably. The chatty sailors head fell on the table and passed out from the intoxication.
The man closed the book, frustrated. A new figure was approaching the table. "Having trouble sleeping, young man?"
The man slowly shook his head, "No captain, it's just I want to reach some conclusion before we arrive at Midgand or else, looking for an answer in that country will be a huge problem." Doubtful, he voiced his concern.
The ship captain sat down and lit another candle. Now more of the man's face could be seen; pale green eyes, long brown hair with some highlights in between and wearing some cape. The elderly Captain slowly pulled out his pipe from his pocket, "Well, I can't stay there long, maybe for one week. Other than that you need to look for some other means to return," The captain advised him.
The man let out a sigh, stood up and walked towards a nearby chest decorated with a gold symbol of a sword and a wyvern. He muttered something, and the casket popped open. He placed the book alongside other, similar looking ones, four different crystals, a medallion, and other minor personal items. He mumbled the same phrase and chest closed and locked itself.
"I don't think I'll be back anytime soon, Captain." He said in his silvery voice.
"Well don't forget if you have any letter or message you need to send back home,"
Suddenly the ship jolted severely as every chair, table, and furniture was flying around along with the captain, young man, and the drunken sailor.
"What the hell is going on?" shouted the captain.
One of the sailors screamed from the outside, "Brace! We've got something latching itself onto the ship!"
The captain rushed to the outside while the young man was helping the drunk sailor find the direction to the exit. The deck was crowded with ship's crew, now distributing swords and rapiers among themselves. The captain ran towards the side of the boat, and soon, the young man followed. "Where is it? I can't see anything" The captain yelled as he was observing the water. Then a sailor screamed,
"Look! it's there!"
Several giant tentacles began rising from seawater, each nearly as long as the ship's mast.
"What are those?!" "We're surrounded!" The crew cried hopelessly.
More tentacles started to rise one after another,
"Kraken!" The captain breathily yelled.
"Ready the cannons, men!" The captain desperately cried as he moved back towards the middle of the ship. The man took off his hooded cape and pulled out his staff out of his gauntlet.
"They are going to crash on us in any seconds now!" one of the sailors cried in fear. The young man looked at the tentacles, "No fire element, no earth element. Only wind and water, the choice is clear then," He rationally analyzed the situation.
He raised his wand, focus and collected, and he shouted from the bottom of his throat, "Whirlwind Slash!" A series of cutting winds started to cut the tentacles at super speed. The scale on the monster's skin was too tight, but the arte managed to cut some of the arms. The beast shrieked in pain and started hammering the deck. The young man dodged a series of tentacles that aimed at him. However, most of the sailors weren't as lucky; Some got crushed beneath the weight of limbs, and some thrown into the sea. He went back on his feet, watching the fate of the crew. He frowned and shouted once more, "Aqua Sphere!"
The arte resulted in several sets of warding shield appearing above the deck, stopping most of the tentacles in mid-air as they dived again onto the remaining crew.
"I can't hold them for long, go to the cannons and fire at that thing!" The young man yelled at the sailors, clenching his teeth and holding the tremendous force of the Kraken's tentacle at bay. Some of the crew managed to escape to lower decks, and the rest rushed towards the cannons, lighting the fuses.
"Ready... Fire!" The captain ordered.
First, the port side cannons fired and then, the starboard side emptied their ammunition on the tentacles; most of them torn in half, blood was spewing from the severed limbs.
"We got them! Yeah!" The sound of cheering filled the air as the tentacles began disappearing beneath the sea.
"It's not over! Re-arm the cannons, men!" The Captain ordered again.
Abruptly, the ship started to rise from the water and tilted to the sides,
"Look!" one of the sailors screamed; A large face with bright yellow eyes rose back from the surface. The Kraken had already regenerated its tentacles, lifting the ship out of the water. Many sailors started to fall into the sea below.
"Wind Lance!" The young man didn't waste any more time and attacked the Kraken's face with swarms of wind arrows, targeting its eyes. The elemental arrows hit the monster's right eye, but it instantly bit the bow of the ship in response crushing the rest of the boat with its tentacles.
"What will it take to kill this damn thing?" The captain jumped onto the monster's face and pushed his sword into the monster's face. "Get off my ship you ugly piece of shit!"
The young man noticed the captain's self-destructive attack. His eyes widened, "What the hell are you doing, Captain?!" As he ran towards the bow and started to conjure another arte, a series of new tentacles attempted to smash him against the deck but missed.
Before he could finish his spell, another tentacle hit him from behind, slamming him against the floor and causing him to drop his staff into the sea. Just as he was trying to get up, he saw yet another one of the tentacles grab the captain as he yelled out something unintelligible, dropping him into the Kraken's large mouth. Feeling dizzy, eyes barely open, he looked around himself as blood streamed down his face. Everything was in slow motion, and everyone was either getting grabbed by tentacles or was falling into the sea.
"Blood... You want blood. I will give you the taste of blood!" He tore his right arm's sleeve and then made a large cut using his gauntlets. He was unsure if he could survive the ritual, but his hesitation had already cost the lives of many sailors. Blood started running down his arm. He began chanting an arte. His breathing intensified. A new weight pushed into his soul. A small opening with bright symbols circling formed in front of him, and then another one beside it. He put both his hands into the small portals, and two extended versions of the portals instantly appeared above the monster's head. Two demonic-looking sides came out of the entrances. Controlling them, he grabbed the upper and bottom jaw of the beast. He screamed as he put his last bit of energy and mana into tearing the Kraken's face apart. Finally, the bottom jaw split from the front, and it fell to the sea along with the rest of the ship. Having no more energy left for struggle, he followed the debris into the sea. He could only close his eyes and laugh to himself, "Could be worse…"
The body of the slain Kraken sank into the deep alongside the ship.
In total darkness, he could hear someone talking to him from a distance. The voice kept getting closer and closer,
"Rise and shine sleepy head." A young and eager voice called to him.
He slowly opened his eyes and saw someone standing above him smiling; he was a skinny, small young man with a missing front tooth. "Great…, pirates..." He said to himself.
"Boss, the pretty boy is awake!" The pirate went outside. He tried to move, but his hands and legs were tied. Destroying his bindings was an easy job for him, but what could he do in the middle of the sea with pirates all around? He decided to wait it out and see. Another much taller figure entered the cabin.
"Welcome to the Midgand, traveler." The man was wearing a purple coat and a purple hat, with a pointy beard. The young man laughed, "Nice outfit."
The pirate, surprised, looked back at his subordinate,
"Benwick, look! Our man can bark! Listen to me, lad; we are not the enemy, nor we are planning to be one. So, play nice, and everyone can profit from this mess."
"Anyone else you fished from water?" asked the young man.
"No, you were the only one we could find... Consider yourself lucky then. But to the matters at hand..."
He turned and nodded at the clumsy pirate now known as Benwick, smiled and yelled,
"Bring the good stuff!"
All of a sudden, two other men entered the room carrying the young man's chest and his staff. Another tall blond man followed them, but they seemingly couldn't see him. His attire consisted of tailored black trousers tightened with two belts and brown boots and gloves. He also wore an orange shirt, a loose white shirt, and a black waistcoat finished off by the long-dark business type jacket.
Two men dropped his belongings beside the pirate captain. The blond man crossed his arms and stood near the captain. His eyes followed the fellow. The pointy beard pirate captain noticed it:
"Oh my... you can see him too? That means you're a special one! This must be our lucky day, Benwick!"
The young man shook his head at this coincidence,
"A pirate with high resonance... give me a break."
"Haha, we will talk about it later but... It's a lovely staff you got there, gold with red jewelry engraved in it. It is yours, I presume?"
"Maybe," he replied in an indifferent tone and maintained his icy demeanor.
"You know I like something about you, and I don't know if it's the bravery or the foolishness. I get where you are coming from but playing nice is your only option now. "
He reached his coat and took out a black and silver pistol.
"An anti-dragon weapon in a pirate's hand, who would have thought…"
"You see, I'm aware of your handicrafts, and I have to say; your weapons are magnificent!"
He then sat in front of him, staring into his eyes.
"I'm looking forward to adding this beauty and whatever you stashed in that chest to my collection. So until you can open your mouth and tell me how to use this staff and the magic password for that chest, you are staying here as our guest."
The Malak, Benwick, and the pirate captain then left the room.
"You will get what you deserve, pirate."
A day had passed. On the next midnight, the land could've seen from a small window in the room. He decided to put his escape plan in motion before they manage to get more distance from the shore. He began by burning his bindings with an arte, and then silently trashed the cell's lock.
Two pirates were playing cards, oblivious to the fact that their prisoner was now loose. He crept up behind them and quickly bashed their heads against the table, knocking them out. The chest was near the table, but the staff was nowhere to be found, although he didn't need to know its location. The man casually picked up the chest and moved outside. There he saw the blond man in black, sitting on the top of large crates, playing with something in his hands and waiting for him.
"Can't get a night of sleep, sorcerer?" the man in black asked, stoically.
The sorcerer sneered, treating it as a joke, "Nah, didn't like the hospitality nor the smell. Also, it is too boring for me here, and I crave for action."
The Malak dropped down to the deck, "That's a shame, but you are not going anywhere." He started to bump his fist together, gazing at him, "Get back to your room nicely, and I won't have to break your fingers and your nose."
The young man rolled his eyes and let out a sigh, "Stand aside, Malak, I'm not in the mood to play games."
Because of the commotion, people started to rush out of the crew's quarters brandishing swords in their hands, shouting,
"What?! The prisoner has escaped!"
Benwick, watching the scene from the top of the ship's mast, yelled,
"Don't worry, Eizen has this under control,"
The man knew that only the captain could see the Malak, but it seemed that others were aware of his presence. To them, it probably looked as he was talking to himself.
The pirate captain also rushed out of his room. Seeing that his Malak friend had already confronted their prisoner, he smirked and laid back to watch the scene.
"Last warning, sorcerer."
The young man shook his head once more, "Alright let's dance,"
He raised his arm, shouting hard, "Dreamshadow, come to me!"
Suddenly, a series of cracking and breaking sounds were heard coming from the captain's quarters. Eizen, fully aware of what was happening, rushed and prepared to slam him with his fist. The staff broke through the wooden walls, twirling, barely passing the pointy beard captain's head and finally, reached him in time to block Eizen's attack.
"Damn it!" Eizen gritted his teeth and yelled in frustration.
As the two clashed and locked their fists and staff, he realized something,
"You're an earth Malakhim... here on the sea..."
he grinned as he stared at Eizen's eyes,
"Bad mistake, my friend."
The young man's eyes started to glow bright white and then shouted,
All of a sudden, a series of waves swept the ship's deck, causing both men and some of the pirates to fall into the sea. While Eizen was struggling not to drown, he used the waves as a means to reach the shore. Taunting Eizen, he yelled, "Have a nice swim you stupid malak! Haha!"
After a few more minutes of surfing, he reached the shore, nearly collapsing from the excessive usage of his mana to control the waves. He looked back and saw in the distance that the pirates were still struggling to save their comrades.
"Welcome to Midgand, Avernus…" he said to himself, breathy.
The man stood up and quickly disappeared into the darkness.
Two days had passed, two days of non-stop walking into unknown jungles and having no clue where to go made him. At last, he found a sign, pointing to a village that was called — Aball. Continuing along the road, he reached a small river.
"Water… I wished I had time to bathe myself, but I've wasted enough time already,"
He dropped to his knees and dropped his head into the water. He washed his face and raised his head to check the woods in front of him.
To his surprise, he saw a small blond girl wearing white attire and holding a strange umbrella standing on the other side of the river, looking at him with an angry face.
"Is that... another Malakhim?"
She turned back, looking like that she shrugged him off and vanished into the jungle.
"Hey, You, Wait!" The man shouted to no avail.
"It's a strange la…" before he could finish his sentence he saw a significant bird overhead trying to fly off with his chest. He immediately dashed towards it.
"What the hell is wrong with this country?!"
He reached the bird in time before it could get away and held on to the chest as the huge bird was gaining altitude.
"Let it go, damn it!" He was pulling down the chest, finally forcing the large bird to release it. Although, he miscalculated the altitude and was instantly sent into a dive towards the ground at high speed.
"Oh… no no, No!"
Before he could think of any artes, Avernus hit several tree branches, and the world turned to black as he hit the ground.
Hearing some people talking to each other, he slowly managed to open his eyes. He saw a roof and a light. Struggling to move his body, he suddenly felt a great pain in his chest. He moaned in pain and did his best to check his surroundings.
He saw a blond boy sitting at a table outside the room. The boy turned, and their gazes met. His eyes widened and jumped from the chair,
"Velvet! … Velvet! He's awake! Tell Arthur he's awake!"
The young man tried to keep his eyes open, but the immense pain led him to lose his consciousness once more.