"What the hell do you think is Sire Aslak screaming about, Peder?" asked Sir Pena in a curious tone.
Sir Peder replied frowning, "Whatever it is, I bet its painful. Just hear the screams, I feel chills running down my spines. He and Felix, both of them are two hell of a kind, aren't they!!"
"… Lord Felixyon." Corrected Sir Pena but Sir Peder simply rolled his eyes.
Soon the surrendered army marched out and Sir Pena and Sir Peder stared at them intentlyfor any kind of strange behavior, but thankfully there were none. But then they found the Knight who had the negotiations with Aslak and was just going to apprehend him for lying to them but ho! They were astonished by the person standing next to him.
Sir Pena gawked at that person, a girl, and asked the similarly shocked Peder, "Isn't that … Lilianna?"
"Yea…" replied Sir Peder blankly, "She was the same girl with whom Aslak hung out when he was seven but … why is she holding hands with that … Knight…"
"Do you think it's 'that'?" Sir Pena asked confused and Sir Peder's answer was a simple nod.
"That's explains those screams of agony."
After an entire 5 minutes, Aslak returned with crimson red eyes. He had a terrible swelling around his eyes and Sir Peder and Sir Pena was struggling to keep themselves from laughing. Unfortunately, it didn't help a bit and Aslak noticed their grins.
"Grrr!" he snarled like a wild animal and shouted at the top of his lungs, "ALL OF YOU DUMBASSES! GET YOUR A*S READY! WE'RE MOVING OUT IN 1 MINUTES AND FROM NOW ON, I DISBAND SIR PENA FROM HIS SERVICE! EVERYONE MOVE OUT!! TO THE DOCKS!!!!"
"HAHAHAHA!!!" laughed out Sir Peder.
"Wahahaha… but WHY ME!!!... Hahahaha!!!!" even Sir Pena cried out in laughter with a bit of tears mixed in. all the soldiers looked at the laughing duo but then unanimously decided to follow Aslak. The aura he was giving off was too dark and omnious.
"HAHAHAHAHA!! SERVES YOU RIGHT, PENA!!!!"
"PLEASE, DON'T DO THIS … HAHAHAHA!! SIR…. HAHAHA!!"
Aslak looked at them with a grim face but then chose to ignore. He walked towards Sir Pena's large white horse and jumped over it. He sat on it comfortably and then majestically led the cavalry and the infantry towards the docks, ignoring the laughing generals.
13th December 3039
DNS Henry was the name of the commanding Frigate of the three Frigates granted to Sir Reggie to look after the town of Cainshire. It was a bit too much of a security for a small town of Cainshire and its real target was the Cainhorn Castle. The Naval Commander of DNS Henry and the other ships was Colonel Henry, after whom the ship was named. NNS stood for Nanmount Naval Ship. It stood after Le Havre de Nanmount, the actual name, which stands for Nanmount Harbor, is the name of the dock from where all the ships of Hendrickson's ships are crafted. It is also his main dock in the mainland. While his real capital lies in the l'Ile Etheree or the Ethereal Ile.
Henry was a young naval Commander with a bright and haughty naval career in his mere 3 years of work. He defeated quite a few hundreds of enemy ships which range from Eastern Junk ships to Southern Caravels and a few Galleons, enough to make him famous in the ranks of naval commanders. Until he made a mistake and was transferred from the frontline commanders to the Grey River defenses. But not only that, he was even 'asked' to follow the commands of a lower ranked Land Infantry colonel, Reggie. And so, he had to dock his ships in a shabby dock of Cainshire every three days of a month to 'help' Colonel Reggie loot the people. The only good part of this was that he was given a small part as his personal profit.
But other than that, he was very bored and frustrated. For a young and energetic naval Commander, such kind of job was nothing but a wastage of his life and time. But this was gonna end after this month, promised Henry to himself.
He had decided to approach the higher ups himself, to seek out a different job than being an in-land defense Commander of three Frigates. But before that, he needed to get Colonel Reggie back to Nanmount Harbor safely, along with the cargo.
"What is the situation on the docks, Kevin?" asked Henry to his First Mate, Kevin. Kevin was a young lad, a few years younger than him and was extremely skinny. He had a thick rimmed goggle, a wide ragged hat on his head and looked more like a cartographer than a First Mate.
Kevin looked through the spyglasses at the docks and reported, "Sir, there is a large congregation of infantry and cavalry at the docks. It seems as if Colonel Reggie is planning on an invasion or something, Sir."
"Is he mad?!!" cursed Henry. "If he does something like a slaughter for no good reason, he will surely incur the wrath of the Dean family!"
Kevin too frowned at that prospect. War is never a good thing and would inevitably frighten even the most hardy veterans. Moreover, they had reasons to be afraid of the Dean family. After all, the Dean family had the Dawson cannons, cannons powerful enough to put a massive dent in a Man'O'War. Downing a Frigate to it is like a child's play.
Henry frowned and ordered, "Look for signs of aggressions in the Cainhorn Castle."
"Yessir!" Kevin replied and immediately looked through his spyglasses again, this time at the Cainhorn Castle but the result wasn't something unordinary. He shook his head and replied, "No Sir, there are no signs of aggressions in the castles. It is the same as it always has been. The same number of soldiers in the same towers, the Dawson cannon still unmanned and all the cannon turrets closed. The only new thing is a patrol of soldiers which occasionally passes through my sight."
Henry frowned and asked, "… Can they be spotters?"
But Kevin shook his head and replied, "I don't think so, Sir. These guys rarely look at the ships and all they do is walk around and gossip. I don't think they are anywhere good to be spotters."
"Hmmm…" Henry muttered unconvinced. He couldn't quite convince himself that these guys are spotters and that the Dean family will retaliate. After all, Lady Faye of the household was so mild and non-aggressive but still, a suffocating feeling was choking his inside. Almost like … the fear of death.
But Henry didn't take chances. He immediately Kevin to get the cannons ready. Kevin saluted him and turned to the sailors.
"Aye aye Sir! EVERYONE! ALL HANDS ON CANNONS. BE SPARKY, KIDS!!!" Kevin shouted at all the sailors, garnering their curses but he wasn't fazed at all. Instead, he took the cat 'o nine tails whip and got ready to flog any and all sailors who were wasting time. The sailors, too, knowing about First Mate Kevin's weird fetish of beating sailors, hurried towards their positions according to the war-mode.
Soon, all of them, dashed towards the cabin and started to bring out all the cannons they had and positioned them on the hull. There was a mad rush for doing a job rather than missing it, just because of Kevin. The cannon turrets opened wide and large-mouthed cannon poked their heads out of it, spotters climbed the foremast and took their positions in the crows' nests and all the other sailors armed themselves with longbows.
There was a tense atmosphere but only for the first few seconds. Soon, it got mixed with gossips, then laughter and then uproars. Kevin tried to discipline the sailors as much as he could, but the rowdy home-sick sailors couldn't be stopped at all. Kevin nearly snapped his vocal cord but they still didn't stop.
Henry looked at the funny situation but wasn't amused at all. The fear still had a larger grip on his heart than anything else. He waited patiently for any sign of change or unrest but other than the usual harassment of Colonel Reggie's soldier towards the townspeople, there was nothing new.
He became extremely bored and soon the light breeze of the big Grey Canal was getting him. He closed his eyes and took a small nap but after fifteen minutes or so, when Kevin suddenly called him.
"Sir, I think we have some unusual movements on the decks!" cried Kevin in an alerted tone.
"What! What is it?" asked Henry, waking all too suddenly from his nap. He shook his head and then headed to the eastern side of the Captain's deck to get a better look. He took the spy glass from Kevin and looked through it and yes. Just like Kevin said, there was indeed unrest among the infantry on the deck. Black smoke has started rising from various parts of the town and the silent screams and shouts were audible from a long distance away. He looked angrily at Kevin and asked, "What the hell happened, Kevin?"
Kevin shook his head and replied, "Sir, nothing extraordinary. I saw a small squad of 30 scout cavalry moving out almost half an hour ago, but they didn't return back. Similarly, two more parties of cavalry went into the town but didn't return. The recent squad that moved out was a squad of 50 foot soldiers towards the eastern direction. Nothing else, Sir."
Henry's frowned deepened. His heart was beating faster and faster but his mind couldn't come up with a single plausible explanation for such an occurrence. To him, too, it didn't seem all that different or extraordinary for a few squads to move out for some time but then why was there an uproar in the docks. Strange.
He looked sternly at Kevin and instructed, "Get closer to the docks. I want to get a better picture of what's happening in there."
"Aye aye Sir!!" replied Kevin. He then turned towards the sailors and shouted, "ALL HANDS ON SAILS! HALF SAIL!!"
As soon as the shout was heard, the sailors went to their positions in an orderly fashion and started manning their responsibility. Henry too, went to the helm of the sheep and manned it. He, quite professionally, tilted the entire ship in a 35 degrees angle and proceeded towards the dock. Since, this was Henry's private decision, the other ship Captains were not informed and thus, they were left behind. When the closed the required distance, Henry instructed Kevin and he shouted to the sailors, "DROP SAILS! TURN BROADSIDE!!!"
Henry left the helm and went towards the edge of the deck to observe the situation and wasn't quite as shocked, relieved infact. He found that the numbers on the dock was still quite around 800 and the unrest was only due to boredom, as they quietened down when he came too close. He sighed in relief and was about to call Kevin to berate him when two large explosions rocked his eardrums.
"What the hell happened!!"
Screams of shock and astonishment rung out among the sailors as they tried to cope with the violent rocking of the ship. Even Henry was nearly knocked out of his ship. He stabilized himself and dashed towards the other side of the ship, the place where it came from. As he dashed towards, Kevin joined him with his shabby hat and spyglass.
"W-what the h-hell happened, Sir…" he muttered, but Henry didn't have the time to spare him any details. He moved as fast as he could but when he got there, he was shocked …
His other two ships, NNS Alice and NNS Cook, were in flames.
Sky high orange flames were raging on the deck of both of the ships and smoke had completely covered the hull. Only the Captain deck was a bit visible and Henry could only make out a few people fighting there, even with his spyglass. Even the foremast and mainmast of NNS Alice was destroyed, thus making her completely immobile. NNS Cook, on the other hand, still had its masts but it wasn't long before they were destroyed too. Both of his ships were now completely immobile and under heavy close combat stress. This was the worst possible situation he could dream off.
Was this the ploy of the Dean family?
Was this the plan of Lady Faye all this time?
Cripple us and kill us slowly. For revenge?
Damn these nobles!!
Henry cursed in his mind and darted towards the helm to command the ship. His mind started formulating each and all possible ways that this could happen, silencing everything around him.He dashed towards the helm and gave instructions to Kevin one after the another.
"Kevin, I need you to keep looking through the spyglass to look for any possible hints our sailors might try to give us."
"Kevin, keep a lookout at the docks too. I don't want to get hit on both sides."
"And Kevin, what the hell are those spotters doing in the crows' nest? Damn, are they all blind that they couldn't see such a thing from happening!! I will scoop their eyes out after this confusion is over!"
"Oh! By the way, I want you to check the wind direction. See where the wind is going and position the ship in such a way that we can turn the ships against it. I want that damn smoke cleared for f*ck's sake! Do you understand, Kevin?!! Kevin? Kevin?!!"
It was only then, did Henry noticed that the usual talkative Kevin turn completely silent. He turned back in a jiffy and there, instead of Kevin, was a black guy, covered in complete black garments, a black scarf and even having pitch-black skin color, standing behind him like a demon.
He was shocked in the first moment but his muscle memory commanded him to go for his sword rather at once. And he does so, but unfortunately, the black man was far more swift and agile. The only thing which Henry saw coming was a big black fist and the next moment, he found himself tumbling down the stairs to the Captain's cabin.
Henry's mind spun like a top but he still tried to get up, all in vain. The punch was too powerful and had completely knocked his jaw and brain from its position. His eyes blacked out and all he remembered were the shouts and screams of his soldiers.
He was the Rank 7Assassin in the order of the Hassassins and was called a Mercenary Hassassin. He was the leader of a 30-men team of lower ranked Hassassins and was a part of the slave contingent that followed Lady Yasmina from the Southern Lands. The contingent had 150 slaves, all Hassassins. They were divided into 5 smaller teams of 30 men each and each team is headed by a Mercenary Hassassin. Above the Rank 7is the Rank 8 Warrior, Rank 9 Veteran and finally, Rank 10 First Rank Assassin. In the entire slave contingent, there were only 5 Rank 7, 3 Rank 8, 2 Rank 9 and 1 Rank 10 Hassassins. And in this mission of Frigate sabotage, all the five squads were mobilized along with the 3 Rank 8 Warriors.
To them, this subterfuge wasn't really easy.After all the Kingdom of Yasmin was a land locked kingdom with very few interactions with naval ships and warfare but thankfully, they had pulled it quite easily. All thanks to the masterful plan of Lady Yasmina, Sir Loann and the Rank 8s.
Lihan smiled brightly as he tackled all the rest of the sailors by either dropping them into the sea or impaling them. He slowly went towards the Captain's deck and stood at the First Mate's position.
Infront of him was the deck of the ship, littered with twitching corpses of sailors and limbs. A big smile appeared onto his face, as he couldn't hide the satisfaction of having a job well done. Beside him, was a thin man, completely hidden in tightly bound black robes and hood. A dark miasma swirled around him, which nearly suffocated the people around him, except Lihan. He was the Rank 8 Warrior Hassassin heading Lihan's team, Yalcin.
Lihan smiled and asked, "What's the order, Captain?!"
"Tsk!" replied the man with a tone of annoyance. "Don't talk to me like that Lihan. I hate it. And tell your men to stop this mindless slaughter. Lady Yasmina wants us to do the job as efficiently as possible, without slaughtering. I don't want to see her orders getting disobeyed like this."
"Aye aye, Sir…" replied Lihan, bored. He was finally enjoying this bloodshed but, in the Order, superiority reigns. And being a junior, he couldn't very well disobey him. He leaned on the reel and shouted to his men, "ALL OF YOU STOP NOW!!! EVERYONE TIE UP THE SURVIVORS AND MAN THE CANNONS!!!"
"Yessir!!" A loud reply rocked the ship and soon, the 50 Hassassins started tying up the sailors and threw them in a heap in the middle of the ship. Yalcin sighed at this treatment but didn't point out anything. He had always been a kind soul, even though he is a Hassassin, and such cruel things were never his pot of curry.
Yalcin was the same person who was the first to accept a member of the Dean family as his master. The person wasn't Felixyon but Sir Loann and ever since then, he had followed him. Sir Loann was his second master after Lady Yasmina and this mission was a joint plan of Lady Yasmina and Sir Loann. More of a reason for a person like him to participate.
After tying up the sailors, the 50 men manned the cannons and aimed at the docks. Right then, Lihan looked at Yalcin and asked with a smile, "What's your orders, Sir?"
"Sigh…" Yalcin sighed and thought the plan once more.
Cripple them to oblivion.
This was the words of Lady Yasmina herself. Immediately, a serious expression surfaced on Yalcin's face and he shouted at the men, "MEN, LISTEN CAREFULLY.THIS IS AN ORDER FROM HER HIGNESS LADY YASMINA HERSELF. THE ORDER FOLLOWS: CRIPPLE THEM TO OBLIVION!!!!!!!"
Yalcin's men and NNS Henry attacked the dock with their 32-cannons and ripped it to shreds. Their man goals were the artillery posts and along with that, they also ripped through the infantry sections and the docks itself. Just after the first volley, nearly the entirety of the docks had vanished and all that was left was wreckage, crippled soldiers and body parts. But NNS Henry didn't stop after that. It fired another two volleys and ripped any and all people on the docks and the area near it.
Their firing was like a spark to a firecracker. Right after the firing stopped, hundreds of civilians armed with cooking utensils, kitchen knives and various other stuffs thronged and crowded the docks, pushing whatever leftover Hendrickson's army to a pinch. They were followed by Cainhorn armies from both the east and west side of the City, thus defeating the Hendrickson's army and reclaiming the town of Cainshire.
Finally, freedom has been achieved for Cainshire.
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