After twenty minutes of doing some pretty neat turns and dips in the water, mainly because the keel of the ship allowed me much sharper turns and more control over the use of the ship than a flat bottomed boat did, I brought the little clipper ship back to the docks. Most of the people there were shocked at the water aerobatics that shouldn't have been physically possible with a ship like that.
“I can't wait to get one of these things!” The king said loudly and then kissed the queen passionately. “Thank you so much for the gift!”
The queen was rendered speechless by his very public display of affection and couldn't respond. The king laughed and eyed my ship with eyes full of longing and envy.
“We'll need about half an hour to check everything over, my lord.” One of the workmen said to me.
“I'll be below deck.” I said and took Helena's hand and glanced at Tabitha before looking at the king. “My king, your family will have the next ride.”
“You're taking me out on it?!?” The king asked in nearly a shout.
“Of course.” I said with a slightly bow. “You need experience with it before getting your own.”
“You're a great friend.” The king said and hugged his wife. “Did you hear that, darling? We're going next!”
The queen could only nod and both Ellen and Rose looked nervous and hopeful at the same time.
I almost laughed at their apprehension and took Helena and Tabitha below deck as Vanessa and the rest of the maids stepped off onto the docking platform. I raised the ship up to the full height to make the work crew's job easier and entered the captain's cabin.
Tabitha smiled at me as she closed the door to give Helena and I some privacy, then I was suddenly dragged from the door to the bed and my pants were off before I knew it.
Helena mounted me and moaned loudly, because she had been ready for me for nearly the entire ride. “Oh, David!” She gasped and moved her hips on her own without my help. She had a great time pleasuring herself with my body while also being careful of her baby bump. “I wish... we could have... after that... first time... OHHHH!”
I watched as her whole body shivered and gently held her as she tried to recover from the wave of pleasure she just had. “Now it's my turn.”
“Ohhh, yesssss. Yes, my David.” Helena moaned and I made love to her until there was a knock on the door.
“Sir, we're done. There's nothing wrong. No structural damage, no twisting of the keel runner or wrenching of the masts.” A man's voice said. “Do you want the sails deployed for this run?”
“Just the main sail.” I said and gripped Helena's breasts to make her cry out. “We can test the reinforcement of the main mast this time.”
“Yessir. Ten minutes.” The man responded.
“Plenty of time. I'll be up then.” I said and then made Helena moan as I shared my magic with her. She writhed beside me and her hands gripped my arms tightly as I pleasured her. I finished just in time and she let out a long and satisfied moan.
“D-David... my god, David.” Helena said, her voice shaky and then she laughed.
“You can stay here for this run.” I said and kissed her.
“I'll need something to hold on to.” Helena said, her voice teasing.
I chuckled and stood to offer myself and she laughed and stroked me a few times with her hand.
“My love, if I thought you could use the ship from down here, I would accept immediately.” Helena said and looked up at my face. “I love you.”
“I love you, too.” I said and slid out of her hand.
Tabitha came in then and took me into the bathroom to give me a quick cleaning, performed the ritual like she promised, even though I didn't get the full bath. I put on my pants and left the cabin before Tabitha promised to keep an eye on Helena and locked the door. I heard a whispered 'thank you' and went up onto the deck. There were a few whistles from the work men, envious looks from a bunch of other men, and a lot of blushing women looking at me from the viewing platform.
I walked over to the royal family. “Your majesty, your majesty, your highness and your highness.” I said to the king, the queen, Ellen, and Rose. “The next ride is ready.”
“You're testing the sail?” The king asked and ignored the blushes of his wife and daughters, mainly because he didn't want to acknowledge that they knew what I had been doing to Helena in the ship.
“It's the set protocol. One trip without sails, one with the main sail, and one with all the sails deployed.” I said and helped them onto the ship. They knew to hold on as I sat them down in the places where seats were mounted to the deck, since this ship was meant for relaxing, and Rose held onto my hand a bit longer than she had to. I gave her a smile and her face flushed a little more red before she let me go.
“I assume you tested the rudder fully?” The king asked and looked around the small deck with enthusiasm.
“Both alone and in conjunction with the movement enchantment.” I said and went to the large steering wheel. “That was when the ship did the full circle movement.”
The king laughed. “I've never seen a ship turn so quickly or in such a small space! It was amazing!”
The queen chuckled. “You are not going to do that when you get your ship, my king.”
“But, dear...” The king whined and she laughed as both Ellen and Rose shook their heads.
“David, if you would.” The queen said and nodded forward.
“As you command.” I said and let my magic flow out to launch the ship forward. There was a muffled moan from below and I had to clamp my mouth shut to not laugh. Both Rose and Ellen turned to look at me, their faces had both surprise and longing on them. Neither of them commented, however.
I put the ship through similar moves, simulating rough water and high waves, which absolutely delighted the king and didn't seem to bother the queen or her daughters. I kept my eyes on the main mast as it groaned and swayed through each turn, just in case. The reinforcement held, even as the sail caught the actual wind and pulled on the ship to tip it nearly thirty degrees off of center. I easily recovered with the rudder and the movement enchantment to right the ship and the king laughed.
“Good one, David! You're a natural at this!” The king said and held his wife tightly as I kept putting the ship through its paces.
I eventually brought the ship back to the dock and lowered it into the water to let the king and his family off.
“Wonderful. Wonderful!” The king exclaimed and shook my hand. “Well done. I can't wait to have my own ship to do the same things.”
“I'll be by to modify it appropriately when the time comes, my king.” I said.
“Excellent.” The king said and led his family off onto the platform. Ellen didn't look at me and Rose looked like she wanted to say something, then she bit her bottom lip and blushed before following her sister. The work crew came on and started checking things over right away.
I raised the ship back up and went below deck to a very ready Helena, who yelled her pleasure as I took her from behind. “You really liked it when I recovered the ship like I did.”
“OH, YES!” Helena yelled and had another orgasm. “Oh, god... oh, god...” She whispered and panted to try and catch her breath. “David, I... I think I need to get off...”
“You've gotten off a lot so far.” I joked and she laughed.
“I meant off the ship. I don't think... I can't take much more of this.” Helena said and kissed me. “It's too much pleasure for me to handle right now.”
I nodded in understanding and just laid there for the next little while until the knock on the door came.
“Sir, everything checked out again. No damage. We're putting all of the sails up, too.”
“Thank you. I'll be up after a quick bath.” I said and then I was in the bathroom being washed and had the ritual performed. I had wondered where Tabitha had gone while I was in bed with Helena and now I had my answer. She had waited in the bathroom for us. We both helped Helena get cleaned up and dressed, then we brought her up on deck and she wasn't blushing as she beamed a smile at everyone on the platform.
Helena knew that they had all heard her, considering they were just on the other side of the hull from the bedroom, and she wasn't embarrassed at all. I handed her off to Vanessa and the maids, who looked composed and collected. They nodded to me as they huddled around Helena to keep her away from everyone around them. I walked around the platform and stopped in front of the Pondus family.
“We need to talk.” I said and waved at the ship. “If you would like, you can accompany me on the next run.”
“Yes!” The two brothers almost yelped and then let out a laugh as the two older men gave them a glare.
“Sorry, father.” The brother without an arm said.
One of the older men sighed. “No, it's understandable.” He said and looked back at me. “Lord Drake, we would be honored to ride with you.”
“Please, right this way.” I said and only one of the women took the older man's arm, leaving the other woman without an escort, because it didn't look like the other older man was going to offer. “I assume you are a sister or daughter?”
She nodded. “Daughter.”
“May I escort you? I'm betrothed and my fiance is right over there.” I indicated where Helena was and she smiled with another nod. I assumed the position and led them over to the ship and helped them get on, sat them down in the right spots, and then brought the ship up and almost out of the water.
“How are you making the ship go up and down so much?” One of the brothers asked.
“I'll answer when we're away from the docks.” I said and he nodded.
I didn't zoom out this time, because the sails were billowed out backwards, and only moved at a normal pace until I could turn the ship and have the sails catch the wind from the other direction. I poured on the speed then and started to answer their questions.
“I've added the full weight enchantment hidden in your family crest.” I said and the two old men whipped their heads around to stare at me, the two women gasped, and the two brothers laughed.
“We knew you'd figure out how to get it to work.” The one without an arm said. “You were smart enough to get the stripped down version to work so well, after all.”
“We never did thank you enough for that.” The other brother said. “You've helped our family out so much...”
“...which will be completely undone, thanks to this ship.” The old man that hadn't escorted a woman said.
“They are special order and have only a small cargo hold compared to a normal ship.” I said as an explanation. “I think the navy will order a few, just to get even faster scouts onto the water.”
“Are you going to steal our enchantment for that, too?” The old man asked, grumpily.
“GRANDPA!” The two brothers yelled.
“He didn't steal it.” The daughter said and gave my eyes a look. “I've talked with my brothers extensively. I know you figured out how to make it for everyone to use the enchantment and not just the strongest mages in our family.”
“You understand I was going to figure it out on my own eventually?” I asked and she nodded. “Can you use the enchantment in its current form?”
“I can.” She said, quite proudly.
“Come here.” I said and she looked around. “I've got us on a steady course for now. I'm letting the sails work to test them.”
“Ah.” She let her handhold go and walked over to me. She looked at the large steering wheel with a bit of confusion. “What did you want to show me? I can't see the enchantment.”
I pointed at my feet. “It's right below us.”
“Wh-what?” She looked shocked. “You're not touching it to get it to work?”
“I'm technically touching it by touching something it is attached to.” I said and she looked even more shocked. “Yes, it works.”
“But... but how...”
“Take the wheel and stand like I did with your feet a foot apart.” I said stepped to the side.
She gave me a wide-eyed look and then put her hands on the steering wheel to assume the spot that I had been standing in.
“Your left foot is standing on the weight enchantment and your right foot is standing on the movement enchantment.” I explained and she caught her breath. “Ignore the movement one for now and concentrate on the weight one.”
She nodded and closed her eyes. I tried not to laugh at her steering the boat with her eyes closed and waited to feel her magic as I cast Sense Magic. I felt a wisp of magic swirl out of her and it was almost like a tentacle as it started to poke around her hands and tapped several parts of the wheel.
“Don't freak out about this.” I whispered to her and used my own magic to reach out and touched hers.
“OH!” She gasped as her magic latched onto mine.
I guided it down and through the deck to touch the weight enchantment.
“By the Son's Light.” She whispered as her magic found the enchantment and it glowed. “How... good god, how...”
“It takes practice.” I said and let her magic go, then it started to retreat. “No, don't back off. Concentrate and feel the enchantment. Let your magic fill it.”
She struggled with it for nearly ten minutes before she gasped and the weight enchantment powered up. She then made the ship rise up to the lip of the water and then she let it sink all the way down until the deck was almost even with the water.
“There you go.” I said and she opened her eyes to stare at me.
“You have to tell me how I'm doing this!” She exclaimed.
“I fixed it, obviously.” I said and she stared at me. “Bring us up to just below the waterline.”
She did that and her family stared at her like they had stared at me. “Please, tell me.”
“It won't mean much unless you're an experienced enchanter.” I said with a shrug. “In layman's terms, I cut out all of the extra stuff that wasn't necessary and streamlined the magic channels. It's still taxing to use for extended periods of time if you don't have a lot of magic; but, even your brothers can use it.”
She caught her breath and looked over at her brother that was missing an arm. “Even... even...”
“Oh, don't worry about that. I'll have him fixed right up in two weeks.” I said.
“WHAT?!?” The brothers yelled.
“It's not a state secret anymore, right?” I said and wiggled my little fingers at them. “You saw the first princess at the king's birthday party, didn't you?”
“We did... but... you can't mean...” The one missing an arm said and looked at the empty space where his arm used to be.
“Lord Drake.” The older man with the woman on his arm said. “Name your price, even if it's the hand of my daughter.”
“Father!” The woman at the wheel exclaimed and she lost her concentration. The ship sank down to sit in the water where its normal weight would put it.
“If I was even a little less loyal to my family, I would accept that offer.” I said.
The woman blushed at the compliment and her mother looked pleased.
“Have you received any monies from the Montgomery Family yet?” I asked and they looked surprised.
“How did you know that?” The other older man asked.
“I arranged for them to have access to a modified weight enchantment for use in weapons and told them to ensure that you were compensated properly if it was used.”
They all looked stunned.
“Why would you...” The father shook his head. “Do you want another concubine?”
“FATHER!” The woman yelled and the man looked a little embarrassed. He didn't retract the offer, though. I reached out and rested a hand on her shoulder. She saw the look in my eyes and relaxed as she took a deep breath and let it out.
“Lady Vanessa was a special circumstance and Lady Helena and I modified the contracts to suit our needs.” I said as I let the daughter's shoulder go and the man nodded. “Putting your daughter's body and virtue aside, I'm sure that we can work out a suitable business arrangement that will benefit everyone.”
“You can't have my wife. It took me almost a year of negotiations for me to claim her in the first place.” The man said with a twinkle in his eye.
“I am going to kill you when we get home.” His wife whispered to him and he didn't look sorry at all.
“We all have our own worthy companions to protect.” I said and the woman gave me a surprised look. “I might not be interested; but, that doesn't mean I don't appreciate the offer.”
“L-lord Drake.” The woman said and ducked her head slightly.
“I'll drop you all off after the rest of the tests and you can negotiate with Lady Helena over what can be done.” I said and they all nodded.
It didn't take long for me to finish the last few tests for movement with the sails and brought the ship back to the docks. I stepped off with them and we had a nice little discussion with Helena while the ship was checked over for the third time. It was quickly agreed by all for me to hand over the full enchantment with directions for a very small share in their shipping business.
It was funny to see them actually try to argue over giving us more of a share. Helena stopped them by saying that we didn't want more than that, because we had already been using the enchantments since we got them. I pulled out a piece of paper with the full enchantment on it, quickly wrote out the directions for tool grooves and markings, and handed it over.
“You're not going to wait for the contract?” The older man without an escort asked.
“Your nephews were generous enough to share the enchantment with me. It's only fair that I be generous in sharing it back.”
“You are a very strange man.” The man responded.
“You have no idea.” I said and reached into my bandoleer to pluck out a vial of clear liquid. I took the hand of the brother without an arm and placed the vial in his hand. “You'll be in agony for ten days when you take it, so make sure you have healers and around the clock supervision. If you want the details, you can contact Healer Linette Marks at the main medical building of the capital.”
“I can't believe she's not here.” Hope said and looked around. “Maybe she couldn't get through the crowds?”
“That's more than likely.” Vanessa said. “I don't see Lady Marks, either.”
“Since they probably took a carriage like we did, then that would explain none of them being here.” I said and looked around myself. “No Greta or Jinelle, either.”
“HEY! HEEEEY!” A man's voice yelled and I turned to look at the platform on the other side of the launching dock.
“Oh, there's Gary, Anna, and Nancy.” I said and waved back. “You want a ride?”
“HELL YES!” Gary yelled back and several people laughed.
“I'll be right over.” I said and turned back to the people around me.
“You can't just give me this.” The brother without an arm said. “You can't. It's not right.”
I put a hand on his shoulder. “You lost an arm during that first excursion. It's only fair that I give you an arm back.”
The brother sighed and nodded. “I'm going to pledge to...”
“No.” I cut him off and he looked surprised. “Stay with your family. Find a nice young woman, get married, have babies.”
“That's what I'm doing.” I said and kissed Helena. “I'll be back in half an hour. You know Gary's going to want the full ride.”
Helena laughed softly. “You should take a few others as well. It looks like a few of the army and navy personnel are there with them.”
“That's a great idea.” I said and gave her another kiss, stepped back onto the ship, and slid it sideways over to the other platform.
“I don't even care how you did that.” Gary said with a laugh and jumped onboard. “I'll pull the sails.”
I smiled as my guess was confirmed. He wanted to go all out. “Anna? Nancy? Do you want to come along? There's plenty of room.”
My old XO Anna looked pleased. “Do you mind if...”
“Not at all.” I said and nodded to the two men behind her. “Anyone else?”
The two men exchanged looks and then shook their heads.
“Then climb aboard and grab a seat.” I said and went to help Gary pull in the sails and secured them.
“This is going to be fun.” Gary said and tied off the rigging rope on the front sail and then sat right there behind the bow spirit. “Come on! Let's get this baby moving!”
Anna and Nancy laughed at the man's antics and the two military men kept their faces blank. I put magic into the movement enchantment and set us off out into the harbour. Unlike the three other times, I wasn't testing it, so Gary started making suggestions on what to do. I followed them, just to see if the ship could do them, then Anna and Nancy got into it as well.
After a short time, the two military men added their own suggestions and I complied to the best of the ship's ability, which was considerable, since its agility and versatility was pretty high.
“Buzz that ship.” One of the men said and pointed to a ship coming into the harbour.
“What's that mean?” I asked.
“He means to pass by quickly like an insect to annoy them.” Anna clarified for me.
“Ah. I see.” I said. “As long as I won't get in trouble for it.”
“We'll cover for you.” The other man said. “Get us as close as you can before breaking off.”
I raised my eyebrows at him and my old drill instructor Nancy chuckled.
“Simulate a hit and run tactic.” Nancy said and I nodded.
I poured on the speed and headed straight for the much larger ship.
“We said buzz it, not ram it!” One of the men exclaimed as we sped towards our own imminent destruction, then he gasped as I slid the ship twenty feet to the side and brought us to a dead stop. I pulled a lever beside the steering wheel and the hidden ports on that side of the ship opened up, I made a kaboom sound with my mouth, then closed the ports and sped off on a perpendicular course.
“Sweet lord.” The army man said and seemed to collapse in his seat.
“I want it.” The navy man said, a slightly maniacal gleam in his eye. “Even if it only works a few times, it could change the course of naval warfare.”
“David, do it again!” Gary said. “I could almost touch the side of that ship!”
Anna chuckled and shook her head. “Perhaps just shadowing it and then sending word to tell the other captain and crew that you were testing your ship.”
“Yes, ma'am.” I said and whipped us around, much to Gary's delight, and brought us all the way back to the much larger ship.
The crew of said ship looked pretty angry at us.
“I'm sorry, fellas!” I said and pointed to the navy guy. “That guy says he'll buy you all the first round of ales at the tavern!”
The crew of the ship let out yells and hollers of appreciation while the navy man let out a sigh.
“Yes, I'll do it.” The man said with a grumble.
“YOU!” A particular voice yelled from above us and I looked to see Marcus standing on the main deck. “Get away from me! GET AWAY FROM ME BEFORE THEY...”
A second later, eight cannonballs slammed into the side of the large ship and Marcus disappeared in a splash of blood as one of the balls pulverized him. I turned around and there was nothing there.
Eight more cannonballs slammed into the weakened side of the big ship and some went right through. Men's screams joined the noise of wood splintering and the big ship rolled over onto its side, then flipped over in the water.
“DAVID! GO!” Anna yelled and I poured magic into the movement enchantment. My ship darted out of the way just as another loud boom happened and the cannonballs smashed into the bottom of the capsized ship where my ship had just been.
Then the enchantments died.
“Uh oh.” Gary said as the ship started to slow down and sink into the water.
I cast Sense Magic and to my utter shock, an entire ship was about three hundred feet away from us. It was about twice the size of a schooner and dwarfed us in size alone, not to mention weapon-wise.
“They're invisible.” I said and my mind quickly ran through the possibilities. I turned my head to scan for any other ships and saw two of them much closer to the docks. I wasn't sure why I could still see them so far outside my detection range; but, I didn't question it.
“Brace for impact!” I said and pulled the lever to open the hidden weapons ports and activated the giant kracken tubes. Four of them blew out of the side of my ship and crossed the distance instantly. They exploded when they hit the side of the much larger ship and tore apart the entire side of it. Men screamed and jumped from the ship as the thing seemed to shimmer.
After a few seconds, whatever was keeping them invisible failed and the sinking ship appeared for everyone to see. Anna, Nancy, Gary, and the two military men stared at the sudden appearance of the ship from nowhere.
“There's two more!” I said and activated the other two enchantments that I had installed as backups. The two I had been using were dead and would have to be replaced. “HOLD ON!”
I activated the shield enchantments and the ship was covered in a tube shape from fore to aft.
“WHAT THE HELL IS THAT?!?” The navy man asked.
“Mage shield.” I said and then activated the chameleon part. We shimmered and faded away, only we were moving too fast to be completely invisible to the outside.
The others were stunned and I didn't have time to explain. I darted down below deck and quickly reloaded the four expended tubes, then ran back up onto the deck.
“How can you leave the deck like that?” The army man asked, his tone full of fear.
“I don't have a crew onboard to reload the kracken tubes.” I said. “Hold on. We've going to pass between them.”
“You're going to kill us!” The army man exclaimed and stood. He was tackled by Gary, who nodded to me.
“Do what you have to, David.” Anna said and drew her sword. It was the one I gave her and I nodded. Nancy stood and drew her sword as well, then she slit her dress and then Anna's to allow their legs to move freely.
“I'll get one, maybe both.” I said and growled, because the first ship just fired into the ships in the dock, which shredded them. “I'll get that one first!” I turned the ship sideways while continuing the forward motion, much to everyone's surprise, then fired the two kracken tubes in the middle. They crossed the distance almost instantly and exploded. The large ship rocked from the explosions and lurched to the side. It threw off their next shot and all of the cannonballs splashed into the water by the docks.
I turned us back to face the right way and brought us to a matching speed to the other ship. I unloaded all four tubes into it and blew it into pieces. I had apparently hit their gunpowder reserve for the cannons and the flaming wreckage slowly sank into the water.
“Oh, shit!” Gary said and pointed.
The ship I had hit with only two of the tubes, because I couldn't hit the back of it with all four, had turned with the momentum of my attack.
Eight cannonballs shot out and I couldn't dodge them, because they were spread out.
“Dammit!” I said and dropped the boat as much as I could. Only four of the balls slammed into the mage shield around us and the barrier glowed brightly from the impacts and it started to flicker. I turned the ship and fired the last two kracken tubes I had and they hit the ship dead on... and there was no explosion. Both projectiles were jammed into the side of the ship and nothing else happened.
My blood ran cold when I heard the sound of sadistic laughter and my body shivered. My control of the enchantments disappeared as the enchantments died, then the mage shield and our concealment enchantments disappeared as well. I closed my eyes as the ship came to a stop and it lightly bumped into the enemy ship.
“I was going to ask you for more entertainment; but, I can clearly see that you've already done your worst.” A very familiar woman's voice said with amusement. “Take them and toss them overboard!”
I heard the sounds of a dozen thumps and then a lot of sword clashes and scuffling. A few moments later, there were several splashes and lots of men jeering at such an easy win.
I cringed when the laugh came again and then I heard a thump and several footsteps. I took a deep breath and opened my eyes, because I couldn't pretend that it wasn't happening anymore.
“Hello, David.” The Hag said and gave me a happily sadistic smile.