Chapter 76: Preparations in the Dark

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While the two of them rushed toward the sea, Bururiba was inside a tavern together with his crew while talking about the resources they had bought.

“Captain, we brought one thousand projectiles for our cannons and around five hundred more bullets for the guns. The blacksmiths that crafted the bullets and the projectiles asked for 5% more this time, it seems they remained without materials so we had to pay extra.”

A Pigman said with a stern face. He didn’t like the idea of paying extra in the slightest.

“It’s alright. It’s not our money anyway. I’ll need everyone to embark the goods, two days from now there will be the auction and we’ll need to get ready to leave the moment we got what we needed.” → Bururiba
“Captain. How will we transport the 10 ships Shen asked for?”

The Pig-man asked.

“Eh.” → Bururiba

Bururiba looked at the pig-man with big eyes.

He didn’t think of that.

Everyone felt like face-palming but controlled themselves.

“T-then… Nicolas, what do you think we should do?” → Bururiba

Bururiba asked the pig-man with a somewhat mighty face, trying to dodge the shame. Before Tian could come, Nicolas was Bururiba’s right-hand-man, now being his left-hand, but everyone still sees him as the right hand because he was on Bururiba’s side the longest.

“I heard sir Shen was able to make his cruise ship sail faster and consume less by two times than before. I suggest we ask him to teach us how he made that so we can upgrade the engines of the ships. After that, in case we remain with no money, we either ask sir Shen to give up one ship or sale one more weapon so we can buy the necessary spirit stones. Captain Bururiba said he wishes to transport his entire crew, right? If I’m not wrong there must be around 800 people, together with Tian’s men. We’ll divide the crews into smaller groups then make each one of them control one ship. Like this, we’ll be able to transport all the ships to Shen’s Kingdom at once.” → Nicolas

Nicolas said with a composed air. He was saved by Bururiba from the hands of a slave-trader that wanted to kill him. Seeing how Bururiba wished to save more slaves and make them his paid crew, Nicolas made a vow to himself that he will assist Bururiba on whatever he’ll ever ask, giving it his best.

“…”

Everyone, Bururiba included, looked at Nicolas with big eyes.

“Ohh!! That’s our right hand for ya! Nice plan there, Nicolas!” → Bururiba

Everyone shouted with excited voices. The plan sounded crazy but it was the best idea.

“Nice, Nicolas. I knew you’re the best. Everyone! Let’s get prepared! I need some smart asses to come with me and learn Shen’s form of upgrading the engines! I heard he exploded quite a few times before, so you better listen properly! Ahahaha~ We’ll upgrade our ship, too! We’ll make it the fastest Pirate Ship on the 5 seas!” → Bururiba

Bururiba had his spirit burning strong. The idea of flying with his ship everywhere and rob the bastards from the Urius Kingdom made him more than excited.

They won’t even know what hit, kekeke~. → Bururiba

“AYE CAPTAIN!”

Inside the cruise ship, Shen stood inside the captain’s room together with the two high elves.

“Are you two sure you don’t wish to go and visit the peninsula?” → Shen

Shen asked the two elves.

“We will refuse the offer. Just like you, we are sensitive to the polluted air around the peninsula. What’s more, we are not attracted by such carnal desires so please excuse us.”

One of the high elves said with a calm smile.

“Ah, I understand you completely, no need to excuse yourselves.” → Shen

Shen nodded in agreement then an awkward silence befell upon them while they drank some black tea at the table. Shen felt more and more embarrassed then while massaging his forehead he said with an apologetic smile.

“I’m sorry for bringing this up only now but, can I ask your names again? I know we’ve traveled for close to a month, but it seems I’m really unable to remember your names all that well.” → Bururiba

“Haha~ please don’t mind it. You had to deal with a lot of problems after leaving the World Tree, it was expected for you to not have time and talk with us.”

The elves nodded in understanding, but that made Shen feel even more guilty.

“I’m truly sorry.” → Shen

“Aha, no problem. My name is Oliver Greenmaple of the Mapleleaf tribe, he is my brother, Evan Greenmaple.” → Oliver

The elf from the right was the first to start the conversation, both of them had the same blue eyes but Oliver had green hair while Evan had it brown like the trunk of a fir tree. Being twins, the color of their hair was the only thing that made anyone able to differentiate between them.

“Nice to be your acquaintance, I am Shen from the Antara Kingdom.” → Shen

Shen bowed his head slightly and greeted back.

“Now, I’m quite curious, how are you going to build that portal in our Kingdom? Is there a need for materials or something like that? I can ask Ryu to prepare whatever is needed for the construction, we should get prepared by now, I don’t wish to make you wait till our part is ready.” → Shen
“There is no need for preparations on your part, founder Shen. We got everything we need right here.”

The two elves took out two pieces of silvery cloth, it looked as if a wand were inside the folded cloth.

“Oh? Is this the main item for the portal?” → Bururiba

Shen asked interestedly.

“This is all is needed for the portal.”

The two elves unfolded the cloth and took out from there 2 branches. The branches looked so mediocre, one would think they simply brought two them from the ground inside a forest.

“T-this!”

Even so, Shen had a hunch of what these sticks were.

“Are these branches from the World Tree?!” → Shen

He asked in a quivering voice.

“Exactly, and from your reaction, I can tell you know the value of such items.”

The elves smiled then covered back the branches.

“…”

Shen entered in deep thoughts. The World Tree was a godly entity that was able to travel through different dimensions and times. It was said that this tree held not one but numerous worlds and universes on its branches, its powers being impossible to comprehend. Branches from such a Godly tree, even the tiniest one and in the most brute form, can bring out powers comparable to a Godly weapon, twisting time and space to its wishes.

If someone would get their hands on such items outside the elves, then they would bring either salvation or complete annihilation. → Shen

Shen felt his back turn cold and with a grin, he asked while his wolf-like eyes sharply stared at them:

“You elves had put quite the trust in me if you’re ready to give out even two of them. Are you not afraid that I’ll try to use them for no-good? Or even conquering the entire Sario?” → Shen

“…Of course, we are still quite doubtful, but that doesn’t matter.”

The elves smiled, making Shen look at them surprised, even a little bit shocked.

“You are the savior of the entire Sario, if you wish to conquer it, help it or even destroy it, it’s your choice. As the savior, the entire Sario has their lives in your hands.”

The two elves talked in a respectful tone, looking at Shen like at a true hero.

“…”

Shen was stunned by their speech. He never expected for such selflessness from a race that just a month ago questioned if they should let him inside the Core Room to recover or let him die. Shen felt conflicted and, in the end, he just clicked his tongue.

Tsk Whatever. I promise I won’t use them for such petty things. I have no interest in conquering or destroying this world. I only need for a peaceful place in where I can do my researching.” → Shen

Shen got up and he went to leave while walking he said.

“I also won’t promise that I’ll use them only for the portal, so you better don’t regret it.” → Shen
“We know, you might use it for defensive purposes as well which is alright with us.”

The elves said with a calm smile.

“…”

Shen froze and glanced back.

“We might look like this, but we are turning 674 years this year. At this age, I think we should be able to at least read a person’s character, no? And for you, sir Shen, you are like an open book. And I already know the reason, you don’t need to hide anything because you have nothing to be ashamed of. I can say this kind of character is extremely rare and far in between, making me respect you even more.”

Evan said while looking at Shen deeply as if reading in his soul.

“…I see you elves are a wise race. As such a wise race, please think more about yours and everyone else’s existence.” → Shen

Shen here referred to the moment when they forbid him to enter the Underground Cave to help on repairing the Seal. He hasn’t forgiven the elves completely, because of them he became a cripple, even though this could’ve been avoidable.

Of course, I don’t blame them for being a cripple now, I blame them for almost bringing the end of this world just because of some tradition. Also, now with these two branches in my hands, I’m afraid that the world is yet to be fully safe… → Shen

Shen felt the responsibility on his shoulders pressuring him more and more with every step he took. In the end, he told the two elves in a grave tone.

“Nobody must know about the branches.” → Shen
“We understand, please don’t worry. And as representatives of Alfheim Kingdom, let us sincerely ask for your forgiveness.”

The two elves stood up and bowed their bodies at an angle of 90 degrees. Something incredibly rare for such a prideful race.

“Get up.” → Shen

Shen told them in a neutral voice.

“I understand so just stop bowing, it leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I’m going to sleep so good night.” → Shen

Shen left without giving them a concrete answer, leaving the two elves with a hopeless smile on their faces.

“Sigh Think he forgave us?” → Oliver

Oliver asked with a wry smile, he knew full well the answer.

“I don’t think so. He just said he understood, meaning he knows that we’re sorry but that doesn’t mean he’ll forgive us yet. The fact that he made us get up so fast means that he’ll forgive us, but not yet… Ai! We really angered our hero this time.” → Evan

Evan said while massaging his temples.

“He’s a cripple now just because of us, it’s amazing that he’s not asking for compensation. He doesn’t even ask to be healed inside the Core Room either.” → Oliver

Oliver felt pretty depressed.

“That’s because if he does so, he’ll feel indebted and he doesn’t wish to have any kinds of debts…” → Evan
“Especially with us, elves. To be honest, I would’ve preferred if he were some snotty brat to ask for whatever was in his mind, why did he have to be so mindful?” → Oliver
“If he were such a character then he wouldn’t have sacrificed himself for the world.” → Evan
“That’s right… Sigh~ after we create the portal, let’s have a talk with the Queen, she might know of a way to strengthen the bond between the elves and Lord Shen.” → Oliver
“That’s why she sent us to make a portal inside his Kingdom. She saw his antipathy toward elves so she wishes to make him, if not thankful, at least satisfied with the alliance between Alfheim and Antara.” → Evan
“L-let’s wish.” → Oliver

Oliver made another wry smile then stood up to go in his room. Evan did the same, they closed the door and lights inside the Captain’s room then left for their own rooms.

Somewhere around the central parts of the Peninsula, inside a brothel:

Inside a poorly lighted room, a fit and sturdy man with red hair was having fun with a slave woman of the human race. The bed was making cracking noises while the woman would moan uncontrollably, both were sweating and fully naked. At the back of the man, two huge scars were visible while at the back of his head, two red horns were rounded to sides. His eyes shone with a fiery red light while looking at the slave woman with a sadistic smile.

Suddenly, a rhythmic knock appeared at the door. The man didn’t even stop from his work and he simply shouted:

“Enter!”

Inside the room, a female of the wolf race in an assassin costume got in. Her eyes completely indifferent at the sight.

“Oh~? By, do you have something to report?”

The captain glances at the one who entered and after seeing who it was, he stops from “his work” and sits down on the bed like on a chair, not minding about the fact that he’s completely naked. The slave woman was barely conscious, completely tired and numb all over.

“Yes, Captain.” → By

The wolf-woman, called By, sits on one knee and says;

“While patrolling around the marketing zone, I saw Jian Tian walking together with another young man, a young woman, and two children, buying different kind of goods, especially fruits and some kind of seeds.” → By
“Tian? Bururiba’s right hand?! You better don’t give me false information, By.”

The demon-captain looked with sharp eyes at By, making her twitch from the pressure.

“I-I won’t dare, Captain. My colleague, Cy, was able to identify Captain Bururiba walking outside the Auction shop, Cy said he saw Captain Bururiba rush inside a tavern where he and the higher-ups from his crew talked something about buying flying warships. After that, they rushed toward a cruise ship which is around 1 kilometer away from the shore.” → By

By reported back everything she heard or seen. She and her colleague were able to discover quite a lot by following the groups from the shadows.

“Also, Jian Tian and the young man who walked with him rushed toward the abandoned and rocky shore. I couldn’t see what they wanted to do there because I rushed back to report.” → By

“Tsk, you can’t even be a good stalker? What kind of dog are you then?!”

The man stepped hard right in front of her, his masculinity in full view.

“As the punishment, make it hard.”

“!”

Such a thing happened before, but every time it did By felt like killing herself more and more. This time she simply couldn’t bring herself to do such a thing again. While trembling she tried to implore the captain

“C-captain…” → By
“With your mouth, By. You better act fast before I lose my patience~.”

The captain said while releasing a thick killing intent, making By sweat and shiver.

“A-aye captain.” → By

While feeling more and more despair, By got closer. But right before she could do anything, a loud scream resounded everywhere, surprising both By and her captain.

“GHYAAAAA~!”
“Huh!? Now you wake up?!”

The one who was screaming so hysterically was the woman that the captain just had fun which. She was initially drugged, making her have fantasies and dream of a fulfilled love-life. Now the drug lost its effect and the woman woke up while remembering all she has done with the captain. She felt incredible despair and exasperation, wishing to die there and then. And the captain did exactly that.

“Damn b***h.”

From his open palm, a red ball of energy shot out and entered her head, exploding the next second. Blood and core painted the walls and the bed while silencing everything around.

“…”

By was frightened beyond words but she tried to remain composed for as much as possible, while the captain was thinking to himself, feeling more and more excited.

Bururiba, I’ll make you pay for what you’ve done to me.

The demonic captain touched his own shoulder, trying to reach his scars on the back and feeling the pain, twitching at times.

First, let’s see what’s your next goal.

“You said he rushed toward a Cruise Ship which is anchored 1 kilometer away? Go together with Ay and By. If it’s anything of value then bring it here, no matter what it is; gold, items or people. I want to make him know how it feels to lose something of value for once.”

The demon Captain said out loud as if talking to himself.

“Yes, Captain Haidao.” → By

Suddenly, from behind the door, a male’s voice was heard, his presence disappearing right after.

“Ah~! I can’t wait to make that b*****d live a nightmare!” → Haidao

He then looked at By with sharp eyes and a lustful gaze.

“Go and Assist Ay. If you fail me again, I’ll have to do it with your separated head.” → Haidao

By felt chills running down her spine while controlling herself from trembling.

“Aye Captain…” → By

After that, she left by disappearing in the shadows.

While someone was making plans against Bururiba, the one who was in the middle of all this agitation kneeled down in front of Shen, almost kowtowing.

“Please! Teach my men how to upgrade the engines as you did to your ship!” → Bururiba

Bururiba and his men were bowing down, almost hitting the ground with their foreheads.

“And I already told you that I can’t do that! For you lot to do what I’ve done to my engines, you need first to be able to control the foreign energy from the melted energy stones!” → Shen

Shen felt helpless. He tried to explain that he can’t teach them his way for more than 10 times.

“And stop bowing! What? Are you taking me as your husband?! Get up, damn it!” → Shen

At first, Bururiba asked as if asking a friend, then he tried to give money as if bribing him, then he tried to negotiate, saying that he won’t be able to get the ships if he wouldn’t teach his men how to upgrade the engines, only to hear Shen saying:

Oh, if it’s a problem with the money then only 8 ships are enough. It shouldn’t matter the number for now. → Shen

What remained to use was to threaten Shen but Bururiba knew more than to dig his own grave.

Sigh… Look, I can only teach you how to make the wires and iron rods to circulate more energy, wasting fewer energy stones. Strengthening the engines to resist a better output is out of the discussion, I might destroy the engines completely if I try as I am now.” → Shen

Shen, in the end, thought of something else that might be useful enough for them.

“That’s good enough! But, in case you still find a way, please don’t hesitate to tell us! Timmy here is a good engineer, he has been repairing ship engines for his entire life now!” → Bururiba

Bururiba’s eyes shone, he talked as if he made the best trade ever.

“Oh? An engineer might really be helpful, where is Timmy?” → Shen

Shen looked around, searching for someone of smaller heights. Having the name ‘Timmy’ made Shen imagine a little Fairy or a smaller human.

“I am, nice to know you, sir Shen.” → Timmy

A huge Dragoon stepped forward, his eyes looking dangerously sharp while exuding a strong and fierce aura.

“…”

Shen froze from the shock.

“If I may, who named you?” → Shen

Shen asked after waking up from his daze.

“After I became a slave I lost my name. But Captain Bururiba named me, saying I look like one of his friends from his world.” → Timmy

The huge Timmy said while looking helplessly. It was clear he himself thought the name is not suited for his stature.

“…”

Shen glanced at Bururiba as if looking at an idiot.

“Hey, don’t look at me like that! When I played another MMO, I’ve met a dude with a gorilla of a character and named it Timmy, it was hella funny.” → Bururiba

Bururiba laughed then felt his back turn cold. He saw Shen looking at him with dead-like eyes.

“A name can represent the character and even the path in life. Basically, you locked the destiny of a serious man with a name that doesn’t fit him just because it was funny? Are you retarded?” → Shen

Shen felt even more irritated.

“Alright, alright! Then you name him!” → Bururiba

Bururiba hid behind Timmy, reaching not even his shoulder.

Shen looked in Timmy’s eyes, then he said;

“Tyson.” → Shen

The name simply appeared in his mind.

“A strong name for a strong man. Well, then Tyson, nice to meet you.” → Shen

Shen reached out his right hand for a hand-shake.

“…”

Timmy, now Tyson, was dumbfounded. He never expected to have his name changed just like that. He looked at Shen for a while then reached out to hold his with a firm grip.

“Yes, thank you, sir Shen. I will treasure the name.” → Tyson

That name gave him a nice ring, making him feel prouder as a dragoon with a strong physique.

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“Buu~. So, you really hated the name I gave you?” → Bururiba

Bururiba looked at Tyson with prejudice.

“Get lost.” → Shen

Shen answered before Tyson could say any pretty words as excuses. Shen’s direct answer made everyone freeze.

“The ones who wish to learn how to upgrade the engine, come with me. Tyson, I might need your teachings in engines, we might be able to combine our knowledge and find new ways for upgrading, other than what I found.” → Shen
“…Alright.” → Tyson

After looking at Shen’s back and the frozen Bururiba, Tyson simply sighted then walked beside Shen.

Shen and 10 people from Bururiba’s crew walked toward the engines room, Tyson walking right beside him explaining to Shen some basic knowledge about the engines of a ship.

“…”

Bururiga looked dumbfounded at the two, chit-chatting with so much interest.

What’s up with that sudden friendship?! Have I been excluded by my own men just now? → Bururiba

Bururiba thought to himself while feeling more and more depressed.

“It’s alright Captain, we’re here for you.”

A red fairy with another 8 of his crewmen that weren’t good in mechanics stood behind together with Bururiba.

“Aah~. You guys are the best!” → Bururiba

Bururiba hugged the fairy, making the fairy and everyone else laugh.

While everyone was laughing on the deck or examining the engines, Sylvia flew toward the ship with a filled backpack. She landed on the decks and greeted Bururiba with his crew.

“How come you’re here? Didn’t you say you’ll make preparation for the next two days?” → Sylvia
“Ah, we stopped here to learn Shen’s secret on how to upgrade the engines. We thought maybe we can make them consume fewer energy stones and fly faster.” → Bururiba
“Oh yes. Shen should be able to do so. But I won’t let him work on working engines again, only if you stop them beforehand. Last time he blew up more than 10 times just by trying to figure out how the engines work. Now that he has no cultivation he might really die.” → Sylvia

Sylvia said with a firm resolution. If she had to, she would seal that room with her High Saint powers only to keep Shen away from the engines’ room.

Everyone looked with amused eyes at her firm yet cute face.

What is she? His mother?

They felt like laughing then they suddenly paled.

Wait… Blew up? Then isn’t there a chance that he might-

-BOOM!-

Suddenly the ship started to shake and a booming sound resounded from the lower floors of the ship.

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