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Everyone had pale faces, especially Bururiba. He started to sweat profoundly while glancing at Sylvia’s shocked face.
Oh s**t, let’s wish Shen is alright so Sylvia won’t kill me. → Bururiba
Bururiba turned slowly toward Sylvia and saw her having a flustered face.
“W-what was that? Where is Shen?! I feel like I’ve heard this kind of noise before-” → Sylvia
Sylvia then turned even pale in the face and rushed inside the ship, not saying anything else.
Bururiba and his crew looked at each other then rushed toward the engine’s room.
There was thick smoke everywhere and voices were heard from the other part of the ship. They rushed forward only to see the smoke being thinner and thinner the more they advanced. When they finally reached what remained from the engine’s room, they saw Sylvia looking surprised at how Shen commanded the others with a calm face, telling them to use frost spells to put out the fire and earth magic to repair the cracks on the walls of the ship. Around him, a golden barrier shone, not letting the fire or the smoke to reach him. Everyone else stood behind him while repairing or putting out the fire.
“Continue using wind magic to take out the smoke! I need clean air inside my ship!” → Shen
Shen continued to give out commands while shielding them from the fire.
After a few minutes, the room was patched with earth magic while the fire and smoke disappeared completely. Everyone had dirty faces because of the smoke, Sylvia, Bururiba and the crew were no exception. Only Shen was as clean as before. He turned around and saw their faces, making him hold a laugh.
He approached Sylvia and started to clean her face with his sleeves.
“What’s with that face? Forgot I have this cloak? Nothing threatening can get close to me so please don’t worry like this.” → Shen
Shen said with a laugh, cleaning some black dust from Sylvia’s nose.
“Uhm… Yeah, I forgot. But even so! It’s still too dangerous for you to work with working engines! Why did you even start it? What if you forgot the cloak in your room? Please think twice before doing such dangerous things!” → Sylvia
Sylvia looked at Shen with anxious eyes, scolding him while holding his hands.
“Ya scared cat.” → Shen
Shen laughed then hugged her, making her calm down a little.
“It’s because I had the cloak on me that I was daring enough to do such a thing. Besides, look at the good part! We found a way to make the engines even faster and low-cost on stone energies without needing to control the Spirit Stones. Like this, we might be able to arrive in Antara in around 20 days! Two times faster than planned, haha~.” → Shen
Shen said excitedly while hugging Sylvia with a big smile on his face.
Seeing Shen so happy, Sylvia simply sighed then hugged him back.
After Shen thought them about the circulation of the metal and how to feel it, everyone was able to mold metal like molding clay, repairing the exploded engine in no time.
The information Shen and Tyson got from uniting their knowledge gave birth to an idea of remodeling the entire engine, making it lighter, sturdier, with a lower energy cost and a bigger power output. The discovery they made was mind-blowing. If their technology were to get known outside the ship, only problems would befall on them.
Everyone looked dumbfounded at the engine. If before was upgraded to work 2 times better, then this time was made so it could go for about 3 times. Of course, if they tried out the max power of the engine then the ship would break, making only for the engine to fly on the water while letting the ship sinking behind.
“Let’s not make it run with its full power, yes?” → Shen
Shen said with some sweat on his forehead.
Everyone else answered while nodding in approbation.
“We should also keep this level of knowledge hidden for now. If such technology was to be known on the outside, sir Shen would have quite the problems to deal with.” → Tyson
Tyson said while looking dazed at the monstrous engine they just created, because they were able to mule the metal, they didn’t need helping parts to keep the pieces together, making the engines one third smaller. But the difference in size showed the power it was able to show now, the cylinder which was storing the melted energy stones was the main body of the engine, making it glow with a light blue hue. The tubes and iron rods were placed in a symmetrical way, making even the design of the engine more domineering.
“I never saw such beautiful machinery…” → Tyson
Tyson said with some emotion. Being an engineer, he had the opportunity to see a lot of engines in his life, but none looked as powerful and well-made as this one.
M-maybe like this, we could create a… A motorcycle?! → Tyson
At this thought, Tyson’s body trembled with expectations, but he calmed down, thinking that he’ll try that once they arrive at Antara.
“It’s good that you like it, from now on you lot should be able to make one just like this one.” → Shen
Shen said with a light smile while patting Tyson’s huge shoulder.
Everyone looked dumbfounded at Shen.
Make this monster by ourselves? Is it even possible?
Some had pale faces while others were excited, everyone had hard times believing the idea of creating such a mechanical beast on their own.
“What’s with those faces?” → Shen
Shen yawned then walked toward the kitchen where Sylvia was preparing his dinner. While leaving he said;
“You saw everything and assisted at building this thing, right? Now that you know how to mold metal and make the energy circulate through the rods faster, then you don’t have to worry about anything else.” → Shen
Everyone felt excited. They made a loud exclamation of excitement and rushed toward Shen, carrying him on their shoulders like he was some kind of MVP of a game.
“Uh? Hey! Put me down! What the hell?!” → Shen
Shen felt embarrassed but couldn’t resist these people who were between Great Fighter as the weakest and Great Warrior as the strongest, that one being Tyson, also the one who was holding him on one of his great shoulders.
Am I a brat to be held on shoulders now?! → Shen
Shen felt exasperated but seeing their faces, made Shen swallow his pride and just let them do whatever they wished, carrying him like this until they arrived inside the kitchen.
Sylvia was the most shocked, seeing Shen being carried like this, she almost spat out the tea she just sipped.
“Yo…” → Shen
Shen greeted her with a plain face while sitting on Tyson’s shoulder.
After Bururiba and his crew finally left, Shen and Sylvia finally had some time alone. They made some small talks then Shen asked:
“Where are Theo and Melinda? I haven’t seen them with you.” → Shen
“I left them in the inn together with Tian and Ashura after they returned from their training period.” → Sylvia
“Training? Were they training?” → Shen
Shen was surprised by how close those two became.
“Yes. I don’t know what they’ve done but Tian was half dead when they returned while Ashura’s clothes had cuts and bloodstains everywhere. Ashura carried Tian to his bed then he simply fell asleep. It seems that both exerted their full power on that training session.” → Sylvia
Sylvia said with a small smile.
Shen was dumbfounded.
Where in the world did they exert their full power? Have they run toward a deserted place so they won’t attract attention? If they trained inside this city then half of it would’ve been destroyed, especially because of Ashura. → Shen
“Say, how is Freia? Has she woken up yet?” → Sylvia
Sylvia asked with a serious face.
After being shot by Bururiba one week ago, she had to sleep to recover, because the bullet was made in a way against Saint level entities and lower, Freia’s wounds had difficulties closing, even after getting first aid or being treated with healing magic. Of course, everyone was angry at Bururiba for almost killing their companion, but his excuse was also a reasonable one:
She god-damn wanted to blow up the ship together with my entire crew! Was I supposed to sit there and wait to go on the Yellow River together with everyone else?!
The river on which the dead sail after they left the living world.
His face at that time was like that of an abandoned puppy. Seeing that Freia was in no danger, everyone let him go for now. The only one who was still angry was Ashura, but not at Bururiba but at himself for not being able to control his full power good enough to save her. He thought of numerous ways which were able to save her at that time, but because of his pride in his power and because of having close to zero experience when it comes to team fights, he was unable to exhibit his full potential. This fact made Ashura almost create inner demons.
“Sigh She’s still sleeping but she’s slowly recovering. After 3 or 4 more days she should be fully healed.” → Shen
Shen said while drinking his tea.
That Ashura, even though it wasn’t his fault, his sense of responsibility won’t let him calm down, still feeling guilty. I forgot, under that serious and mature face there is a 16 years old child with a tragic past. → Shen
“It’s good that he found a friend with whom he can train now.” → Shen
Shen suddenly said, surprising Sylvia for a second.
“Ah, you mean Ashura? Yes, he was finally able to sleep peacefully.” → Sylvia
Sylvia sipped from her tea then she asked back.
“How are the two high elves? I didn’t see them on the decks today.” → Shen
“They said they’ll go for a fishing tonight. It seems there is a full moon and they want to stay outside the ship currently, bathing in the moonlight.” → Sylvia
“Oh~? I would wish to gaze at the moon tonight as well.” → Shen
Shen and Sylvia talked some more while Shen was eating some fruits and drinking the Cedar milk. After finishing, his body turned hot and he felt sleepy. He excused himself then entered his room to meditate.
This amount is ridiculous… → Shen
Shen was dumbfounded by the amount of energy he got just by eating some berries, chewing dried sponge and drinking cedar milk with honey. It was just the right amount so he won’t feel uncomfortable.
He started to repair his lower Dantian, closing the cracks one after the other. While Shen was in this state, he couldn’t tell what was happening outside and neither was he aware of his surroundings.
This will take around 7 hours. The amount of energy I assimilated from that one dinner is really ridiculous. I might be able to fully repair my Dantian! → Shen
Shen felt excited then restarted his work.
Sylvia left for her inn and the ship turned silent, returning to Melinda and Theo. Suddenly, three shadows appeared on the deck, fully covered in concealing spells like: [Hidden Mana], [Conceal Aura], [Concealing Shadow].
“Cy, are you sure this was the ship?”
The male from the middle asked while looking around cautiously.
“Yes. This is the ship. Bururiba embarked with his crew 4 hours ago then left 1 hour ago. The woman from before is also an acquaintance of his.” → Cy
A fairy with black eyes and hair but with no wings answered calmly.
“Who was the woman that left just now?”
“She was one from Tian’s group. She came together with them and it seems she’s part of the crew on this ship.” → By
By answered while staying in the shadows.
“We’ll split here. Grab whatever is of value and kidnap anyone who seems to be an important person. Don’t forget, if you’re caught either run away or activate the seal.”
The leader of the group commanded then disappeared in the shadows. By ‘activate the seal’ literally meant to commit suicide by activating the seal of slavery, which would burst their hearts and kill them instantly.
The others did the same without answering. They investigated the entire ship looking around only to find hundreds of empty rooms and two sealed ones. One was at the lowest parts of the ship while the other one was placed on the captain’s room.
“It seems we found something interesting, but nothing of value in the other rooms.”
The leader said while examining the rooms.
“The seal on the lower cabin is twice as strong as the one on the captain’s room. It seems there must be deposited the values of this ship.” → By
By reported back.
She wasn’t wrong, inside that room there were placed all the treasures they’ve got from Alfheim and in the same room, Freia was resting, having beside her a lot of medicinal plants together with the powerful healing aura emanating from them. Like this, she can be fully healed without leaving behind any scars.
“Then what is in this one?” → Cy
Cy asked curiously.
“There is nobody else inside this ship other than us. We can just destroy this seal and see for ourselves.”
The leader said while grabbing his dagger.
“Ay, are you sure this is a good idea?” → By
By asked a little worried, she had a bad feeling about this.
“Are you telling me to return empty-handed? The other seal is made by a Great Saint, being unlocked only from inside while this one is made, at most, by a Great Fighter. I can destroy it with my Adept Grandmaster power-level.” → Ay
Ay said while gathering energy in his dagger.
With a powerful and concentrated slash, the seal shatters like glass while the door falls down in two pieces. Behind the door they saw a humanoid silhouette, sitting in meditation.
“S**t! There was actually someone inside this room?!”
The three of them panicked and prepared for combat.
Due to the seal, they couldn’t feel any presences inside the room. The three of them rushed inside and held their daggers right beside that person’s neck from three different angles. That person was Shen and he was locked inside his mental-state to repair his meridians and chakras. He wasn’t aware of anything outside his body, that was the reason why he tried to make a seal around the room with as few energy as possible so he won’t waste it.
The three were confused as to why there is no reaction.
After a minute in that position, the fairy reacted first, waving her hand in front of Shen’s face then poking it with his finger.
“Oy! Cy, what are you doing?!” → By
By whispered to the fairy, feeling her back turn cold.
“Why are you scared now? Nobody is on this ship and the only person we’ve discovered is in a deep trance. He’s not even aware of his surroundings.” → Cy
The fairy said while shrugging his shoulders.
“He’s right. This person seems more dead than alive. I can’t feel his power-level and I can’t feel any energy circulating through him, either.” → Ay
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Ay said, feeling surprised.
“Can anybody tell me who he is?” → Cy
“We don’t know. It’s the first time we’ve seen him but seeing how he was sealed inside the captain’s ship, he might be of great importance and maybe even a friend of Bururiba’s.” → By
By said her thoughts, being just as confused.
“Such an important person sealed with such a weak barrier? Well, this is good enough. Grab him and let’s go. If he wakes up on our way to the captain just knock him out.” → Ay
Both By and Cy answered together then By started to carry Shen on her shoulder like carrying a potato bag.
The three assassins sprinted toward another anchored ship. The ship was just like Bururiba’s but the red flag had a red skull with two demonic horns. They arrived and entered the captain’s room.
“Captain Haidao. We arrived.”
The three assassins kneeled right in front of the demon captain.
“Good. Let’s see what you’ve got.”
[[[POV CHANGES BACK TO SHEN’S SHIP]]]
The next day, after the elves returned on the ship.
“I wonder if sir Shen is still sleeping? I tried to make some elves culinary delicacies, I wish he’ll like them~.” → Oliver
Oliver made a smile while cutting some colorful leaves. If one didn’t know the friendly relationship between him and Shen, anyone would think he’s trying to poison him.
“You’re using the heavenly plants to make a salad? Won’t he explode if he eats that with his crippled body?” → Evan
Evan asked with a wry smile.
The plants are ranked with normal, yellow, earthen and heavenly. The higher the quantity of chi inside them, the higher the rank. Right now, Oliver made breakfast using only vegetables and the lowest had the earthen rank, making for the most energetic breakfast someone could ever eat. Even for elves, such a breakfast was only for nobles, and on important days.
“Not if he eats slowly~. I’ll be sure to help him circulate the chi inside his body, without harming him.” → Oliver
“Sigh~ think he’ll accept our help?” → Evan
“Well, I already prepared this.” → Oliver
“…Alright. I’m going to see if he’s awake now.” → Evan
Evan walked toward the captain’s cabin, only to find the door cut in half and nobody inside.
His steps froze in place while his eyes widened in shock.
The door was cut down?! I can still feel residual energies of a seal on it and even more that was used to cut it down. The seal seems to be made by Shen but the other person… It’s not someone we know! → Evan
Evan sprinted right back in the kitchen.
Oliver felt Evan approaching, feeling confused as to why he was in such a hurry.
When they locked eyes, Oliver knew that something bad happened. Both of them nodded lightly then rushed toward the peninsula in a hurry.
“I will search for Miss Sylvia, you go and report to Captain Bururiba.” → Evan
Evan said with some urgency in his voice.
“Yes.” → Oliver
Oliver answered instantly and flew toward a ship anchored on the far left of the docks.
“Oy, is that an elf flying around?”
Some pirates saw the two and felt like they just hit jackpot.
“Let’s go! Captain might wish to know about this!”
More and more pirates started to move while the rest were either too drunk, sleepy or simply unaware of them.
Sylvia flew out from her room and levitated above the inn, looking toward the ship with anxiety all over her face. She spotted Evan flying around, searching for something. When they both saw each other, they landed together inside the inn, entering her room. Theo and Melinda were still sleeping so both had to talk through mana vibrations. They made little mana-waves toward each other, making their words audible only to themselves.
“What happened? The connection between me and Shen suddenly got interrupted! I can tell he’s still alive, but I don’t know where he is anymore!” → Sylvia
Sylvia was anxious and started to question Evan, not even greeting each other. After Shen became a cripple, Sylvia felt more and more worried for him and his wellbeing.
“Miss Sylvia, please calm down. Getting agitated at this moment won’t bring anything but more disaster upon ourselves.” → Evan
Even though he said that he himself was quite anxious. Flying above the city like a lost bird wasn’t really something a calm man would do.
“Huu~” → Sylvia
Sylvia breathed deeply in and out to calm herself. After that, she asked again.
“I can see sir Evan is just as anxious, may I know what happened?” → Sylvia
“This morning, I and my brother Oliver just arrived on the ship. We made breakfast and waited for sir Shen to wake up and come to eat, only to see that he was still not getting out from his room even though the sun was high up in the sky. I wanted to see if he were awake only to find the door cut in half and residual energies from Shen and another party.” → Evan
Evan explained briefly, not leaving any details he found.
“Oh Gods… Wait, how about Freia! Is Freia alright?!” → Sylvia
Sylvia felt her calm was slowly drifting away. Even though Shen was crippled, he would be able to get out from any situations on his own. But Freia was still injured, if something happened to her there might be huge chances her life would be threatened.
“It’s alright. The room in which she was placed was untouched. It seems the ones who wished to rob our ship were able to read the power of your seal.” → Evan
“Thank the heavens… We need to talk to everyone! Tell them to meet me on our ship, we’ll try to make out some plans by putting our minds together.” → Evan
Sylvia gently woke up the children while talking with Evan.
“Hm? Sylvia? Good morning.” → Melinda
Still half asleep, Melinda greeted Sylvia with a smile while Theo turned around, having no wish to wake up.
“Oy Theo, wake up…zzz…” → Melinda
Melinda tried to wake Theo up only to fall asleep, her head on his back.
“…While miss Sylvia tries to wake up the little disciples, should I go and wake up sir Tian and sir Ashura?” → Evan
“There is no need.” → Sylvia
Right after finishing saying such, Tian walked inside the room, his body full in bandages.
Behind him was Ashura, curious as to why Evan was here.
“We felt Sylvia rushing outside then coming back with another person. So it was sir Evan, why are you here, sir?” → Ashura
Ashura asked, seeing their serious faces he knew something bad happened.
Everyone on the ship knew the names of the elves except for Shen. For some reasons, every time they were called, or when their names resounded, Shen wasn’t paying attention or just thought they were some other people from Bururiba’s crew, giving it no mind. This fact made him feel quite embarrassed later.