chapter 133: chumming the waters

“Isn’t it a bit too early to be running into giant monsters?” I couldn’t help but question, while I felt a powerful energy building up inside Emona. The monster ahead of us was a giant serpent, glistening blue scales lining its body. Its length was easily a hundred meters, but I couldn’t even see the head of it from where I was. All I could tell was what the system told me, that it was a level two hundred and ninety Sea Prince.

“Hah!” She let out a loud laugh, grinning broadly. “Ya’think this is a big’un? Boy, you really haven’t been to the sea yet, have ye? No, this is just a normal monster this far from shore.”

As she explained that, she moved to stand at the front of the ship, the wind catching her coat and causing it to flap wildly around her. Glancing to the sides, I saw that each ship had their own captains taking position at the front of their ships as well. As if having rehearsed it, each one of them reached for the sword at their hips.

“Alright, mateys!” Emona called out, and I could hear the sound of metal sliding against metal as she unsheathed her blade. “Release… the Kraken!”

As she shouted that line, she thrust her sword into the air above her, as did all eleven other captains. A symbol could be seen on the side of her copper sword, glowing as her mana flowed through it. The symbol appeared to be a small circle with a dozen lines extending from it.

While I was focused on the symbol, it actually seemed to float up off of the blade, and hovered into the air. “Ship defense’ll be up to you, Tebor. We’ll be needin’ all our focus to keep this beastie under control.”

I could see as similar glowing symbols rose up from each of the eleven other ships, all moving to merge with the one that Emona had summoned. As each new symbol was added into the mix, it pulsed with an even greater power. Even with the druids all working to keep the waters calm, ripples began to form around us, circling out away from us.

Before I could consider just how strong the thing they were summoning would be, the final symbol merged into it. In a sudden rush, it shot down beneath the water. Those of us new to sailing all glanced down off the side of the ship, though I had an… easier time identifying what had happened.

Only allowed on

The ice that I had been practicing with was shattered as a pulse of energy swept over it, a giant form swelling into being beneath the waves. The water beneath us tried to rise up, forcing me to disperse it to the sides to prevent the ship from capsizing. Udona didn’t really create a Kraken… right? RIGHT?!

The sea prince ahead of us seemed to sense something, its gargantuan head rising out of the water. Its snout was elongated, thick whiskers spreading a dozen meters in both directions. A pair of curved horns rested on its head, thick fangs lining its mouth to give it the look of an eastern dragon.

Yet, the sensation I felt from the monster wasn’t anger, or even hunger. It seemed cautious, almost afraid. Its eyes betrayed the intelligence that was hidden within, its species likely near sapience. All of a sudden, a dull roar rang out from underwater, and its eyes went wide.

The sea prince turned to flee, but no sooner had it attempted to do so then a pair of giant tentacles lashed out from beneath the waves. Before it had even finished turning around, the tentacles had wrapped around its neck. Its body struggled, blood seeping out from where it had been grabbed.

Waves shot up and splashed about as the sea prince struggled against the beast beneath the water. Even with the druids dispersing it to prevent any harm to the ships, the sight was a marvel to behold. Soon, another pair of tentacles lashed out, and then another. A total of eight could be seen before the body of the sea prince had been dragged down beyond our sight.

Yet, the water still shook from the struggle occurring. Only after a long moment did it die down, and we all knew that the creature had been killed. Still, the captains remained motionless, there focus not dying down for a second.

I was about to ask what was going on, but surprisingly Accalia’s voice echoed in my mind. Sea princes travel in schools. Don’t let your guard down, Dale.

Well, that explains why they were willing to summon up such a big fish to deal with something that seemed weak in comparison. While the Kraken was great to show off, it was really overkill to just deal with one. But… How big are the schools?

Anywhere from ten to fifty. This close to shore, you’ll probably have to worry about a dozen at most. While a sea prince has a strong body and powerful scales, it isn’t a true monster. It doesn’t wield any type of energy, so it is seen as a weaker fish. Its only methods of attack are brute force and a poisonous breath.

I nodded my head slightly, listening to the information. If this could only be considered a weaker fish, I had a hard time imagining what the strong ones would be like. “Here they come.” Emona’s words broke me out of my thoughts, though when I looked I couldn’t see anything.

I had to enhance my sight with ki in order to see deep underwater. Like Accalia had said, there were another ten of the serpentine creatures angrily speeding towards us. Or more precisely… towards the giant monster that now rested beneath us.

The monster’s tentacles were too many to count, swaying back and forth in a slow and natural manner. Its head was gigantic, easily bigger than the Jolly Dodger, with each limb stretching out hundreds of meters. Two particularly long ones, no doubt the ones that had first hooked the first sea prince, actually seemed to stretch out over two kilometers.

It was likely that the first sea prince had wandered off from its school, which is how we found it alone. But when it was killed, the others all came to avenge it. They didn’t even hesitate as they launched up towards the kraken from below, their mouths opening and spewing forth a green inky cloud.

The kraken, however, did not seem to mind. It simply targeted the closest two of the sea princes, and its tentacles shot out. Before they had even finished closing their mouths from using their poison breaths, the two longest tentacles had actually speared straight into their open jaws.

This caused the two sea princes to panic, biting down on the tentacles. Black blood flowed out, yet their struggle only lasted for a moment. Soon enough, it seemed that the tentacles had found something vital and crushed it, because the princes went limp.

Now that another two from their school had died, the remaining eight seemed to hesitate. They saw the black blood leaking out from the tentacles, and steeled their resolves, continuing their charge. However, my focus was again broken by Emona speaking. “Spear lash.” She said the two simple words, the mana fluctuations showing that she was likely speaking to the captains.

When I looked down again, I saw the many different tentacles of the kraken seem to stiffen up, the tips thinning to become like spears. When they all thrust out at once, it almost made the kraken look like a giant porcupine. To the sea princes, however, it could only mean their deaths.

There was one that managed to avoid a fatal injury, its hard scales deflecting a tentacle to the side. However, the others hadn’t been so lucky, pierced through mouths or eyes, or in the gaps between their scales. Instantly, seven more of the sea princes had died, and the eighth had turned to flee.

“And, end.” Emona spoke again, and the body of the kraken began to ripple, pulsing with a blue light. Soon, it shattered into glowing shards which flew to the surface, each turning into the same symbol that I had seen before. One of the symbols went to each captain, who then sheathed their blade at their hips.

“Tebor, I’ll be needing a strong wind from ye.” Emona said hurriedly as she moved back to the wheel. “Put the wind and wave at our back, and get us out of here!”

I could feel that the wind immediately picked up around each of the other ships. There was nobody staying behind to collect the bodies this time. I didn’t bother to ask questions, and immediately created a strong enough wind to push the ship forward. Thankfully, Accalia again chimed in with helpful wildlife information.

There’s always a bigger fish, Dale. Sea princes aren’t really a hostile species, and would have in fact left your fleet alone. But there’s something else that always lurks near a school of princes, and THAT wouldn’t have left you alone. Think of it as a predator that feeds on the sea princes, and anything else that they happen to pass by.

That’s why sailors never harvest the bodies of sea princes, even though they go out of their way to kill them as quickly as possible. The king of the shallow sea needs his sacrifice. Her ominous words caused me to look back towards the bodies of the sea princes that we were quickly leaving behind us.

Even enhancing my sight with ki, I could barely see a dark shadow rising up from beneath where we fought. No doubt it had been lurking at the ocean floor until it smelled the blood of its favorite meal. Just from the size of the dark shadow, I could tell that it absolutely dwarfed the kraken by comparison.

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The last thing I saw before we were too far away was a giant, clawed hand grasping the slowly rising bodies of a sea prince, pulling it back down beneath the water. However, that was enough for me to see its information.

Level 469 Sea Terror

Well… that was aptly named. I’ll just leave behind all of my nope, and get the f*** out of here. Expanding my control, I increased the wind pushing at all twelve ships, making the water push us more from behind to keep us going forward without causing us to tip to the sides. Oh great goddess of hunting and wisdom. Please, for the love of all that is holy, tell me that sea terrors travel alone.

I heard a faint giggle in my head in response to that. Typically. Unless it is mating season, in which case between two and five can travel together at a time. However, a sea terror only mates once every hundred years. And no, before you ask, this one isn’t in its mating season. If it were, we wouldn’t have had you be part of this voyage, because it would already be doomed to fail.

I breathed out a sigh of relief when I heard that, but did not let up on my control of the natural energy. The sun may have already gone down, and I may have been planning to take a rest before… But it was safe to say that I was wide awake now.

Yes, I could definitely kill a sea terror if I went all out and used all of my Keeper power. Yes, I knew that it was illogical for me to be afraid of it. But, when you see a monster that can swim thousands of meters in mere moments, has hands that can wrap around a small house, and eats sea dragons for a snack… you get out. You get out fast.

Still, I had the sinking suspicion that creatures as ‘terrifying’ as the sea terror would be the norm once we headed into deeper waters. And I did not much like that thought. Not one bit.

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