I sat around and waited for the demon to wake up for a few hours but ultimately got bored and left. I left Lily and Jasmine to watch over her again went back up to the top of the mast. The air was pleasantly breezy and after I build a small platform for myself, I could sit around and relax here. With my fear of heights completely cured, given how often I fly and the fact that I know I could survive a fall, it was a good spot.
I looked through my inventory and pulled out a cursed weapon. Arachne is pretty strong as is but why not make her even stronger. I chose a bow for a number of reasons, partially because it was the first weapon, I saw but also because I feel like a half spider archer will look cool.
The weapon creaked and screamed in a muffled voice in my hands as I very carefully disconnected the consciousness from the actual beneficial part of the weapon. If I had to describe the process it’s very similar to cutting open a sea urchin to get the fresh eggs inside. Except the urchin is constantly actively trying to stab you and you need to cut it open with a very small needle. But it did what it was supposed to and kept me distracted for a few hours and by that point the sun was already setting and it was time to go to sleep.
I sleep very light when getting attacked is a strong possibility. It’s not that I don’t trust Roma, Kira or Ari to at least take the first hit so I have time to wake up, it’s just that without D’arby around I never really feel safe properly. Still Roma’s soft chest and light stroking of my head was enough to get me to fall asleep. Nothing happened during the night and the ship sailed smoothly.
In the morning I went to see the demon again. She was still out of it despite most of her wounds being healed and her mana already starting to return to her.
The gnomes were venturing out of their rooms and the children were already running around and shouting all over the ship. Now that it’s this loud I kind of miss the quiet grunts of goblins and hobgoblins working. Might have been a mistake on my part to take children with us.
But at the top of the mast on my platform it was far enough away that I almost couldn’t hear them. I finished working on the bow by sundown and ended up keeping a small part of the bow’s neck and most of the string. It looked like nun chucks with a really long string connecting them. Or a skipping rope. But either way they would pass on the knowledge and power of the previous owner, and after some time could be thrown away. If I could find a way to stabilize it enough to survive passing its power onto one person, I could have a whole army with the same master level knowledge of swords and archery and whatever other weapon I could find.
Like this it would just pass the knowledge and then crumble away into nothing. The knowledge and power would stay with the user so it wasn’t a huge issue. With the elves back in the lamia city the process would become permanent after a year or two. But with the bow it should be permanent after a few months, hopefully. As I said before this is more art than science.
I kind of liked that Ari couldn’t predict when I would choose to bend her over and spank her for all the bullshit, I had to go through because of her so I would randomly find where she was and talk to her about something completely unrelated. I truly think it was worth dirtying my essence just for the fact that she can’t predict my actions anymore.
Another day passed like this and I could feel Toz’s ship behind us now. In only a few hours it had caught up to us and was right next to the main ship for the remainder of the journey. After Arachne made a bridge out of web between the two the crew of either ship would come and go either which way and help out fixing and tidying up the sister ship. Toz had gotten a new hat from somewhere and despite being a hobgoblin it suited him well.
He came to see me and informed me that everything went well, with the exception of Arachne taking down a smaller pirate ship on the way to us, but other than that no issues. The nobles were handled by the local guards and sent back to their homes. The pirate captain with the disgusting hat was sadly a nobody, which is surprising given his confidence. But whatever. It doesn’t really matter.
I gave Arachne the broken-down bow and explained she will be out cold for a bit while it synced up to her. She led me to her room and I got to see how a half spider sleeps. In a hammock made from its own web it turns out. Looks really comfortable too. She passed out after I finished tying the string around her hand so it wouldn’t fall off if she turned or something. It looked really stupid when you thought about how powerful of a weapon this was.
I forgot to say but I cracked the soul inside open and absorbed it too. I can’t tell if it did anything to my mana but it was better than just throwing it away.
A few hours into the night I was gently prodded awake by Ari poking me in my cheek. I unwrapped myself from Roma and followed her out onto the ship. The one eyed Scalea woman was standing at the very edge of the ship and was looking forward.
“There’s 2 large vessels ready with cannons up ahead.”
“Are you sure?”
“I’m sure. I don’t know how they can see us but I can see them looking this way.”
“No. She would be somewhere visible if that was the case.”
“Some sort of natural magic” As fucking usual.
“Fantastic. Would you mind getting someone to organize 2 teams to take the ships over?”
“I’ll go find the first mate.”
I was left alone with Ari. When I placed a hand on her shoulder she jumped.
“Tell me Ari. What do you elf eyes see?”
“They umm… They aren’t going to be worth taking. There’s no slaves on board so you can just sink them without worry.”
“Please tell me this doesn’t count as one of the 5 questions I have left?”
“What? No of course not. I’ll ask you before using up one of them.”
“Had me worried for a second. I’ll go clean myself up then before heading off.”
I lowered my hand down her back and could feel her body tense up. But I stopped my hand just short of where it was heading to and left her alone.
I changed into clean cloths, polished my horns by stealing a brush from Roma, and organized my item rings so there would be a separate space for all the stuff I’m about to take.
As the sun just started to rise and I would no longer have to rely on my poor night vision I flew off to the two ships standing in wait.
They launched exploding cannon balls at me the moment I was in range but after the first one hit and obscured me from view they were too slow in getting the next shot ready and I was already on the ship to my left.
“Avast, ye mateys! This be here a takeover! Surrender yer loot and plunder and lower yer weapons!”
Nothing. Just fear and silence at the demon who lived through a cannon ball and was now spouting nonsense at them. Or so I thought.
Remember when I questioned if guns were a thing here? I was right.
And I was right about being bullet proof. The small metal ball ricocheted off me and down into the wood. The volley of bullet following that did the exact same thing except it took out some of the lizard men standing nearest to me. The force behind them did slightly push me back but I had learned my lesson long ago. I feet were firmly planted on the floor and my barrier stopped me from being launched away.
Their hard scales were a pain to deal with but I had plenty of time as they all stood still looking at me. The ones in the very back reloading their weapons got another 2 shots at me before I finally got to them. When the crew was fully knocked out, I waved at the ship opposite.
Oh, cool humans. Very pale though. You would expect people working under the sun constantly to tan a bit.
Inside the lizard ship was the usual mix of gold and jewels and maps and books. When I went a level lower, I could see what Ari meant. Fixing up this barely floating pile of junk wouldn’t be worth the effort. I ripped up the flooring and let water flood it as I walked out and flew to the next ship. I checked around to make sure there were no slaves or anything tied up and about to be sunk down with the ship just to be sure.
The human captain, I’m assuming again because of the large hat, stared at me along with the rest of his crew. After a few seconds or so one of the crew members very uncertainly shouted, and when another joined in, they all roared and charged at me.
Yeah. Maybe these dull fucking sabers will work on the dude who can take a fucking cannon ball. But they were mostly soft tissue and I was very familiar with human anatomy so they fell down much quicker than the lizards.
“Do you have a bounty on you?”
“Would someone pay to get you alive?”
“Ok enough nonsense.”
He fell on the rudder and I went downstairs into the captain’s quarters. Again, gold, jewels, maps, books and then something strange. A small wooden platform one square meter in size that had 3 ships on it. One was visibly the one we were on and the other two were the ones with the imp and my people on it. So, this is how they saw us coming. It wouldn’t go into my storage so I just took it as it was and brought it outside so I don’t forget it.
The rest of the stuff was mostly trash and after inspecting the lower area I made some holes and flew off before it had fully sunk. Ari was right. Nothing worth taking.
I arrived back to the main ship were 2 groups of goblins were standing ready.
“Sorry. They were barely afloat and not worth the effort. I’m sure we will meet pirates again in no time.”
They looked upset but no one said anything. I think they understood just how lucky they were that I was on the ship handing out free ships for nothing.
Why am I trying to collect ships?
Right so I have my own navy. Going to be so fucking useful for trading and the like. If I get can storage rings mass produced, I could become the worlds richest demon just from moving shit around.
Do I even want that much money? For what? All the materials I need for my ultimate magic are probably not for sale.
But if I’m rich I can fortify my island really well and always have a stronghold to rest or recuperate.
An impenetrable island base. Sure, there’s probably people that can just fly over but I can’t imagine there’s many. All the really powerful enemies would probably not even care about any defense I set up unless I really work with it. If the island is the correct shape, I could make the whole thing into a giant magic geometric spell. Have the very people living in it as the power supply and make the barrier around it unbreakable.
It would make controlling immigration and people sneaking into the country impossible. There would be only a few areas where you could pass through the barrier safely, anyone or anything else would get destroyed no matter how big or small they were. Invading armies would have to single file line to get inside and that would make their numbers meaningless. Numbers are meaningless pretty much since Arachne is around. If I’m around I can just make them drop dead. With Kira and Roma, it would have to be something crazy powerful to even be considered a threat.
So, wait? Am I going to make myself king? What’s the alternative? Democracy? So, I have to follow rules by people I could easily defeat without lifting a finger? Am I even the most powerful person here?
Roma most likely could beat me. Kira probably too. Ari could go either way since I’m no longer in her line of prediction. But why would I fight them? Maybe for fun just to see. They have decades of experience over me and all I’ve got is my 100% conductivity. My capacity is higher than theirs but with my production being at zero they could hypothetically fight indefinably while I would be on a time limit. If D’arby was around this glaring weakness would be covered well.
So far, she ate a metric ton of corpses, possibly ate a piece of a god thing, drank tons of water, and has been hibernating for over a year now. What else could she want? I tried pumping mana into her but it didn’t go anywhere. I even asked Sona to try and heal the ball but she couldn’t even feel anything inside it to heal.
It'll solve itself out. Everything always does in the end. I went back to bed and spent the rest of the morning fooling around with Roma. It’s really easy not to think about how many people you just killed if you have massive breasts in your face and somebody doing something nice with their mouth to your extremely sensitive horns.
After that I went to see how Arachne was doing but she was still out cold. But I could see the broken bow had formed a good link with her core and was easing its knowledge in. If it was in its normal state it would basically break into her core and rewrite it to be like the original creator was. Now it just ever so gently massaged the knowledge and power into her core without doing any damage. There will be some discomfort and the odd memory since my work isn’t perfect, but as a whole it should be alright.
I went to the see imp captain after that and gave him all the maps I collected to see if any where valuable. There were some that marked buried treasure and the like but I would send someone for them later. What’s the point of having underlings if you end up doing everything yourself?
A few days passed where nothing really happened. I would find Ari isolated and tease her before leaving and would alternate between Kira and Roma each night. I worked on more cursed weapons for the battle slaves but I fucked 6 up and had to throw them away. I still had tons left from my adventuring and exploring days so no biggie. There was also this big key I got after defeating King Kong and Godzilla. I assumed it would lead to something but clearly not. Hard to imagine the gods would give me something I would end up not using.
Sunsets and sunrises were breathtaking no matter how many times I saw them. It’s the exact same thing as on earth but there’s just something more… alive about them. I can’t quite describe them.
We were approached by a ship at least twice as big as ours with a giant red Ankh cross on its sails and flag. The were going the opposite way of us and the imp was even polite enough to change his course so the larger ship wouldn’t have to. But instead they went past us, dropped anchor and then caught up and went parallel with our ship. The main ship with the imp captain was now stuck with Toz’s ship on the right and this giant one on the left.
Without asking permission or even a warning they threw hooks into our ship and set a plan down between the two. I’m just a guest on this vessel so I didn’t want to do something rash when there’s a peaceful solution.
A giant of a men dressed in white cloth and chainmail underneath came on board and was followed by equally large men dressed in a similar fashion.
The one who came first looked around and took his helmet off. He was a tanned human with a short white beard and a small scar going all the way down his cheek. His eyes were a pale blue like Sona’s and his head was shiny and bald.
“What are you looking at vermin? Call you master over. I wish to have a word.” He said to no one in particular. It was just Candi, the captain, some hobgoblins and me on board right now. The dwarves gathered everyone inside the moment the ship turned around. Good thing too.
“Do you mean the master of these people or the master of the ship?”
“Silence your mouth demon. I do not want to be deceived by your honeyed words. Call the master of this vessel.”
The imp spoke up finally. “That would be me. What’s the problem?”
“The problem is you haven’t paid tithe for being in our waters.”
He scoffed at him. And the guards behind him actually laughed.
“The Roawan empires of course. But that’s alright. I know lowly monsters like you have barely the mental capacity not to drive the ship underwater. So, I’ll do you a favor just this one time and handle it for you. For a price of course.”
I leaned down to speak to the imp. “Is this something real or are you being shaken for a payoff?”
“It’s the order sir. We have no choice but to pay them off to get them off our backs.”
“What happens if we don’t?”
“We become an enemy of the order and they write us off as heretics and we all get hunted down and killed.”
“What’s your plan after getting us to the island?”
“I don’t really know.”
The bald bearded man shouted. “Can you hurry the fuck up.”
“Sorry 1 second.” I replied.
“How would you like to work for me permanently? I’ll give you a home and my full protection and a place in my navy?”
“What about my crew?”
“They get the same unless they don’t want to. No one is being forced but if you accept you will become an enemy of the order.”
“What happens if I refuse?”
“I don’t know. You’ll have to pay them off and keep your fingers crossed that they let you go unmolested.”
“How likely is that?”
“No idea. Never met them before.”
He thought about it for a while and looked from the bald man in full armor backed up by a small army of equally armored men with a whole giant organization behind them. And then to a medium size demon with one horn significantly bigger than the other.
“What’s the pay like?”
“What would you consider fair?”
“10 platinum for me and a wage I can decide on for my men.”
“Are you sure? There’s no going back after accepting. This ship and people would fall under my ruling and decisions?”
“Yeah. 10 platinum and a place in your navy.”
I held out my hand put on my most charming smile.
“Then we have a deal.”
“Please take good care of me.”
“Fantastic. Now make sure everyone goes back inside and don’t let anyone come out until I say so.”
“Sure, thing boss.” He whistled and pointed at the door and hobgoblins dropped from the line and ran inside. It was just me and Candi.
“Good news. Well not for you but for us. We will not be paying any tithe and you are cordially invited to get the fuck off my ship and leave with your lives.”
His face went red immediately and veins popped up on his previously baby smooth head.
“How bloody dare you. Do you have any idea what it means to go against us? I have an army by my side. You think your pet dragon cunt will be able to protect you.”
“No. I mean yes, probably. But I don’t need protection. Is that a no on you lot getting the fuck off and running with your tail between your legs?”
“Such insolence. But what else can you expect from a race famous for its greed and malice.”
“Look you bald headed ##########, I’m giving you one last chance to be wise and run.”
He looked stunned when I said it. It is arguably the worst insult you can call somebody. Dwarves are great architects, builders, smiths and leather workers. But what they should really be famous for is their way with words. It just doesn’t translate how much insult they put into a single word.
The bald guy turned around and waved his arms three times at the ship. More men in armor started to walk down the plank.
“Kill everyone expect the demon. I want him to suffer for this.”
“Oh no. I’m being attacked. Candi, please remember that this is self-defense when anybody asks alright?”
“Sure, thing boss.” Candi replied.
The bald fuck took two steps towards me and slashed the air with his sword. A blade of light appeared out of thin air and flew towards me.
It stung. But not like a shark bite. It was more like a what? A bee sting?
No those hurt. This was more like an ant. A red ant. Stings for a minute but doesn’t ruin the picnic.
And with that swing of his shiny metal sword the fight had begun. Or massacre if you want to be pedantic about it.
(If you are enjoying my work or have things you would like to see changed tell me about them! I do this as a hobby and always try to improve my writing. Reviews and criticisms are also greatly appreciated! Thanks for reading!)