An elusive returns today with chapter 10. You can read chapters 1 to 9 here
The pirate ship was coming in from the starboard side of our ship, advancing at a very quick pace. Seraphina immediately pulled me from deck and into our chamber, while Laurenar and the crew prepared for the inevitable fight. Our white sail with the crimson crocodile marked us as a non-naval vessel, so the pirates were definitely looking for a quick raid.
Seraphina packed a few essentials into a small bag. She threw in a few unidentifiable herbs, three bottles with a bright yellow liquid and a handful of parchments. Then the sorceress prepared for battle, hiding a dagger in her boot and grabbing a long staff. I marveled at the beauty of the staff: it was expertly crafted from fine teak, perfectly straight with a glowing ruby fastened at the four-pronged top. For the first time, I felt happy to be wearing the suit of leather armor I had received at the Lion’s den. At the same time I was totally unsure what to do with the rapier. It was dangling uselessly by my side.
Seraphina seemed to sense my insecurity and asked carefully: “Do you know what to do with your sword?”
I slowly shook my head. “Well, you hold it firmly in your main hand. And then you parry incoming hits as they come and attack with the sharp edge.”
“Well, I knew that.”
“I don’t have more time to teach you more. Laurenar will have to do that as soon we get to the island. Are you ready to fight?”
I wanted to shake my head again, because when would I ever be ready to fight? But instead, I slowly nodded and we stepped back on deck.
The pirate ship had almost caught up to us and almost was in range for an attack. It was clear that this crew was expertly trained in naval combat. They didn’t seem to be nervous, carrying out their duties with haste, but calmly. A dozen crewmembers were now lined up by the railing, equipped with either a bow or crossbow, ready to fire on command. Laurenar and Drake were standing behind them with the rest of the crew, their swords drawn, ready for impending attack.
“How many are they?” Seraphina observed the nearing ship, holding her staff firmly in her hand.
“Probably around 70.” Drake answered solemnly. “They’re gaining ground on us and will definitely be able to enter the Crocodile.”
“We will fight back as long as we can. That way we’ll get closer to the lighthouse. When the time is right, we will take one of the side boats to get to the island.” Laurenar explained while pointing to one of the boats.
“All of us are going fit in the lifeboat?” I wondered.
With a loud laugh, Drake answered my naive question: “Only the three of you will be taking the boat. As for my crew and I, we will either protect our ship or drown with her fulfilling our duty to Illusio.”
I had no time to consider his answer as the pirate ship had now picked up our pace and was sailing right beside us. The first salve of arrows hit the deck and Laurenar finally gave the signal: “Fire!”
Almost immediately, I noticed how the air around me had begun to simmer as it had a few nights before in the palace. Seraphina was shielding us. Her face was fully concentrated and she was staring straight ahead. I silently wondered what she would contribute to the fight before she told me quietly: “I cannot do much here. My fire magic would only endanger our own men and women. Our objective is to get to the island, so I’ll be protecting you for most of the battle. Were you going to ask me that?”
She smiled and I could only stare at her in disbelief while looking at the deck. Our crew was still firing shots at the pirates, but the first enemies had used ropes to fly over and land on our decks. The trained sailors met them immediately. Loud shouts and cries filled the air and I felt helpless once more. Right before me, Laurenar disarmed one of the attackers calmly by knocking him out with the hilt of his sword. At his side, Drake was expertly giving commands, pulling away sailors from the railings back to the center of the deck, where more and more foes were jumping on to. He engaged one of the opponents attacking with two one-handed swords. His first attack came from both weapons simultaneously, with his right hand being blocked by the pirate’s sabre and this left hand immediately delivering a fierce blow to the side of his opponent, sending him to the deck.
It was clear that the crewmembers were far superior fighters than the pirates, but the sheer number would most likely decide the battle in favor of our opponent. For a moment though, it seemed as if the Crocodile would be able to survive. Drake and two of his lieutenants were still picking off pirates at an impressive rate, while Laurenar made sure he never strayed to far from our position. Seraphina pulled up shields when one of the crewmembers was in range, but it was clear her energy was almost entirely focused on keeping me safe.
While the pirates were still losing more men than they had expected, they finally managed to get close enough to set up planks to bring more of the over. Laurenar expertly managed to dislodge one of the them right there, sending three pirates into the sea. For every one they managed to damage, two more were set up. Finally, Drake’s loud voice cut through the air: “For Illusio!”
Almost immediately, Laurenar retreated back to us, parrying a surprise hit with his sword on his way and retaliating by punching his foe unconsciously. He was at a disadvantage on the narrow ship with his heavy armor and sword slowing him down and preventing him from doing the damage he was used to. “That was the signal. Let’s go.”
The three of us ran to the railing and jumped over it into the tiny, wooden boat. The tall knight took an elegant swipe at the ropes and we tumbled down, enduring a harsh landing. Ultimately, he and I each grabbed one of the rudders, taking course for the island right before us.
Thank you very much for reading my story! Please like, share and subscribe, if you enjoyed my writing. The story continues next Friday, but feel free to check out the other content released on Monday and Wednesday.
Have a fantastic weekend!