Chapter 16:

The Devil, The Witch, and The Dried Up Sea (Part 1)

The Devil, The Witch, and The Wicked World of Delirith


Somewhere in the lost world of Delirith, somewhere in the ashen plains of Boneyard Badlands, our duo protagonists; Mako and Fyra, were currently idling around a dockside, gazing at the wide endless sea- except there's one problem-Bookmark here

"So," Fyra spoke, "where's the sea?"Bookmark here

[ SEA-LESS SEA ]
There's No Water Here?Bookmark here

Mako and Fyra stared at the dried out salt plains ahead, spanning endlessly beyond what the eyes could see. Bookmark here

"Are you sure we're even at the right dock?"Bookmark here

"Yep, unless Navi's been lying to us this whole time," Mako replied as he pulled out a paper map, "still though, even if our gps is wrong, this map Copperhead gave us that day pointed to this place as well…-"Bookmark here

*HOOONK!!!*Bookmark here

The sudden horn caught Mako by surprise as he accidentally threw the map to the air, blurting a whole sentence of cursing. Looking up, the duo was greeted by the sight of a gigantic peculiar ship docking right in front of them.Bookmark here

The ship resembled that of a 17th century galleon, with the addition of two huge downward facing propellers on its side, a rocket thruster on its back, and a more "metallic" body as opposed to the wooden ancient equivalent. The ship was painted with a blue and yellow motif giving it a "navy" feel, and its crew too wore navy blue uniforms.Bookmark here

Appearing from the main deck emerged a handsome young man in his mid 2os, wearing a higher-ranking navy uniform and a dark blue tricorn hat.Bookmark here

"Ye two Mako and Fyra, right?” the man spoke. “Copperhead contacted me to fetch ya."Bookmark here

[ PAUL A. JONES ]
Captain of The Diamondback Navy ClanBookmark here

"Hop on board then!" Captain Jones signaled to his men as they lowered the boarding platform for Mako and Fyra to enter. The duo wasted no time and boarded the ship happily.Bookmark here

"Well, welcome aboard kids. I take it you both know where we're heading, so just don't cause any trouble while we do our work, yes?"Bookmark here

"AYE AYE CAPTAIN!" Mako shouted enthusiastically as he and Fyra made a salute pose. Bookmark here

"F***ing hell- don't do that please, like, ever again-" Jones facepalmed himself. Not wanting to deal with further bullshit, the captain got onto the quarterdeck and took a deep breath-Bookmark here

"REV UP THE ENGINE AND PULL DOWN THE SAILS BOYS! SET SAIL TO MOUNT MORTIS!!" Bookmark here

With sails all down, propellers spinning and rockets blasting its flames, the ship hovered slightly from the salted floor below and sailed off to the horizon, making their way to their next stop; Mount Mortis.Bookmark here

****Bookmark here

Somewhere on the plains of a dried out sea, a hovering galleon sailed 3 feet above the ground heading straight to their next destination. Inside the captain's cabin, Mako and Fyra were called in to be given a short briefing about their trip.Bookmark here

"So, I'm sure the first thing you might notice about our sailing is the lack of sea," Paul Jones spoke.Bookmark here

"Yeah, what happened to it anyway?" Mako asked. "Copperhead kept hyping us about the beautiful waters and whatnot. Couldn't care less though, cuz I've never seen one live before."Bookmark here

"Better luck next time then kid," Jones replied. "There USED to be waters here like our copper-friend claimed, but around 15 years ago something happened that drained out the sea. Lord knows what happened but since then, we've been sailing on this salt plains with our modified ships."Bookmark here

"Anyways, the lack of sea meant we won't be dealing with shits like tide and storms. But of course, our travel won't be getting any smoother because some people HAD to make us navy's life hard. And those 'people' refers to evolved sea monsters-"Bookmark here

*BOOOM!* Bookmark here

*CRASH!*Bookmark here

*Sounds of screaming men*Bookmark here

"-and pirates."Bookmark here

The cabin door suddenly kicked open as a panicked crew greeted the trio.Bookmark here

"CAPTAIN! WE'RE UNDER ATTACK! IT'S-"Bookmark here

"-the Sparrowhawks." Jones finished his crew's sentence. "Yeah, I'm coming-" Jones got up from his seat but before he left, turned towards the duo- "just stay here ye two. I'll resolve this issue quick and easy."Bookmark here

*Scene cuts to everyone being gathered and tied up at the main deck, including Mako and FyraBookmark here

"Well, at least you're right about being quick and easy," Fyra remarked much to Jones' annoyance.Bookmark here

The Diamondback crew helplessly watched their ship’s treasures, supplies, and weaponry carried away by the pirates into their ships. They may have fought valiantly to defend their ground, but the pirates attacking them were simply more powerful.Bookmark here

As Paul Jones groaned for his loss, footsteps were heard approaching the tied up captain. Looking to his side, a young ashen-haired, eye-patch wearing, peg-legged, brown-jacketed lady greeted the captain's sight. Bookmark here

“Ahoy kapitan! Looks like it’s another win for The Sparrowhawk!”Bookmark here

[ CAPTAIN HOURAI ]
Lady of The Sparrowhawk Pirates!Bookmark here

"Oh don't give me that sour look. We'll just take like half of everything you've got. You can always restock at your clan's dock, aye. Unlike us pirates who have to plunder to survive."Bookmark here

"Not without having our faces screamed at by the admiral though," Jones replied. "But what do our enemies know! All of ya only know how to be a pain in the neck for us proper sailors!"Bookmark here

"Enemies? Proper sailors? Oof, you're hurting my feelings Jones- I thought we're just nemesis…" Hourai's voice cracked, genuinely heartbroken by his statement. "OR you're just messing with me! Ha! You cheeky captain! You can't just play with a woman's heart like that~" Hourai pinched Jones' cheek while acting all flustered.Bookmark here

"Wha- no that's not what I meant dammit!" he pushed her hand away with his blushing face. The ashen-haired pirate snickered, amused as always whenever she teased him.Bookmark here

Meanwhile, Mako and Fyra couldn't help but admire the pirate ship in front. It's slightly smaller than the Diamondback's galleon they're on, but the metal decor and paint job made it look more intimidating. Bookmark here

It had wings, propellers and rocket thrusters just like the Diamondback, but it’s front were built open like a shark’s mouth, complete with its nine rows of chainsaw teeth and burning flamethrower. The ship itself was equipped with chainguns, cannons (both iron and plasma), mortars and missile launchers.Bookmark here

Because of its design, little could best the Sparrowhawk in a sea-less maritime battle. Bookmark here

“That ship is BADASS!” Mako blurted out of nowhere, gaining Hourai’s attention.Bookmark here

“Well what do we have here? You Diamondback’s employ lassies now? I’m disappointed Jones, I didn’t expect y’all to reach this low,” Hourai commented. “But aye, my ship is indeed BADASS!”Bookmark here

Captain Jones sighed, “no, we did not use child labour. A friend of mine asked me a favour to give those two a ride. We’re supposed to drop them off at Mount Mortis.”Bookmark here

“Ah, so these two are your guests! No wonder you’re extra cranky when you get attacked by me today.” Hourai approached Mako and Fyra.Bookmark here

“Say, you lassies wanna join me instead of this boring ship?” she offered suddenly. “It’s gonna be fun I tell ya! We’ll shoot and loot any unfortunate bastards crossing our way, plunder their ships for their sweet gold doubloons-” Bookmark here

“Mount Mortis is one-two weeks away after all, might as well make the most out of that time, aye?”Bookmark here

Mako and Fyra thought for a while, before nodding to each other as they came to a silent agreement.Bookmark here

“Hell yeah! We’ll join your crew!” Mako announced.Bookmark here

“Haha! Knew you’d both pick the right choice!” Hourai ordered one of her crew to untie the duo. Bookmark here

Freed from their bounds, Mako and Fyra joined the pirate captain and hopped on board the Sparrowhawk. The duo left the scene as they sailed to the horizon on board the infamous pirate ship, leaving behind Captain Jones and his Diamondback Navy crew still tied to their masts.Bookmark here

****Bookmark here

Somewhere on the salt plains of the Sea-less Sea, the Sparrowhawk traversed across it with their traditional sails and high-tech propellers. For 15 years the “sea” grew silent from the absence of tides and waves, but the spirit of sailing lived on as songs of the sea still echoed through the air, sung by men, women, and other beastly races of the Sparrowhawk crew as they sailed across these barren lands.Bookmark here

Come all you young sailor men- listen to me
I’ll sing you a song of the fish in the seaBookmark here

And it’s windy weather boys, stormy weather boys
When the wind blows, we’re all together boys
Blow ye winds westerly, blow ye winds blow,
Jolly sou’wester boys, steady she goes…Bookmark here

The ground below them suddenly shook. Without warning, dozens of eel-headed humanoids popped out of the earth and jumped aboard the pirate ship. Bookmark here

Up jumps the eel with his slippery tail
Climbs up aloft and reefs the top sailBookmark here

The eels drew out their guns and sabers, and the Sparrowhawk pirates did the same. Both pirates and eels clashed, fighting in euphoric glory and delight. The pirates emerged victorious, and they went on with their journey singing their song.

And it’s windy weather boys, stormy weather boys
When the wind blows, we’re all together boys
Blow ye winds westerly, blow ye winds blow,
Jolly sou’wester boys, steady she goes…

The ground shook again, this time a monstrous quadruped creature jumped out of the earth. The titanic creature stood nearly as tall and long as the Sparrowhawk, with both crocodilian and shark-like features, including its multiple rows of teeth.

And then up jumps the shark with his nine rows of teeth
Saying “you eat the dough boys, and I’ll eat the beef!”

The shark-croc giant charged straight to the ship, but the pirates did not fear nor falter. With her thunderous command, Captain Hourai ordered her pirate crew as they rallied their heaviest guns to the monster. The shark-croc was bombarded with dozens of missiles and cannons, finishing it off with a sea of flames fired by the Sparrowhawk’s dozens of flamethrowers on its front.

The monster was reduced to roasted bones, and the Sparrowhawk continued its sail once more.

And it’s windy weather boys, stormy weather boys
When the wind blows, we’re all together boys
Blow ye winds westerly, blow ye winds blow,
Jolly sou’wester boys, steady she goes…

Without warning, the ground quaked AGAIN. Anticipating another attack from this land’s abomination, the Sparrowhawk pirates rallied their guns and cannons, preparing to battle any creature nature will throw at them.

Seconds later, the creature made its appearance several feet ahead.

Up jumps the whale, the largest of all

A whale-like creature jumped out of the earth and flew above and over the pirate ship. Everyone was in awe by the majestic sight above their heads.

“If you want any wind, well I’ll blow ye a squall”

The whale crashed through the ground a few yards behind the Sparrowhawk, creating a massive shockwave that blew towards the ship. The dust wave pushed the ship onwards giving it a boost. Everyone held on to anything their hands could grab hold of as the ship sped onwards hundreds of miles per hour.

And it’s windy weather boys, stormy weather boys
When the wind blows, we’re all together boys
Blow ye winds westerly, blow ye winds blow,
Jolly sou’wester boys, steady she goes

And it’s windy weather boys- stormy weather boys
When the wind blows, we’re all together boys
Blow ye winds westerly, blow ye winds blow,
Jolly sou’wester boys, steady she goooooeeeessssss…

“HURRRAAAH!!!” everyone shouted. They all laughed and cheered as the Sparrowhawk sailed onwards to the horizon beyond.

****

The Sun was about to set at the Sea-less Sea, and many of the Sparrowhawk crew retreated below deck as another group replaced their shifts.

Standing proudly on the quarterdeck right beside the helmsman was none other than the captain of the ship; Lady of the Sparrowhawk, Captain Hourai. Observing everyone ahead with arms all crossed, a satisfied smile beamed from her face as she now turned her attention to the two kids riding along beside her; Mako and Fyra.

“So, what do you both think of your trip so far? Enjoyable, exciting, dangerous-?” Hourai asked the duo.

“Exciting, yes. Enjoyable, hard to say, but one thing’s certain is that we’ve been in far more crazier situations,” Fyra replied bluntly. Though expected, her answer wasn’t exactly what Hourai wanted to hear.

“Ah, don’t ya worry about that. Soon, we’ll find a ship for us to plunder. That’s when things get exciting!”

“Speaking of excitement and all, we’re still heading to Mount Mortis right?” Mako questioned.

“Aye, aye, of course. We’ll get there once we get there, which should be by the end of this week. But if you want more assurance-” Hourai pulled out a knife out of nowhere. She immediately stabbed her left eye much to the duo’s shock, gouging it out yet without a trace of blood.

Hourai tossed her eye to Mako who caught it midair. Opening his palm, the duo discovered the eye to be robotic, little zaps of electric buzzing through the wires attached to its back.

“Wait, if this is your only eye then how will you-” Mako stopped his question halfway as he saw Hourai simply swapping her eyepatch’s position to cover the right eye instead. Turns out, her right eye was still fine.

“Eyepatches are trendy among captains, pirates or not. I kept telling Captain Jones about that hoping he’ll try one.”

“And he didn’t,” Fyra added.

“Nah, he did put it on. Looked weird and stupid I tell ya! Both mine and his whole crew got a good laugh from it, and from that day onwards he never listens to any fashion advice from me, even if it's genuine.”

“Though I did compliment his dashing blue hat that day when he wore it the first time. Since then, I’ve never seen him without that hat whenever we meet.”

“Hmm…” Mako and Fyra listened keenly to Hourai’s story.

“Anyways, you both can keep the eye. It’ll serve as a reminder for me to drop you two off at some point. Once your trip’s over, kindly return it back to me. I tend to forget this kind of things.”Bookmark here


“Sure,” Mako replied simply.

And so, the Sparrowhawk ship continued its journey across the barren Sea-less Sea for days to come. Unbeknownst to the pirates, the Navy Clan, or anyone that sailed the salt plains, another force was coming to the dried-up sea in a massive fleet never before seen even back when the sea was filled with water. Bookmark here

Hundreds and hundreds of frigates and warships hovered above the salted plains, sailing across the lands to who-knows-where. A skull insignia painted the sails and flags of the massive hoverships, and its crews and weapons bore skull motifs let it be tattoos, armours, metal works or paint jobs. Bookmark here

Sailing in the middle of the fleet was a massive galleon dwarfing all the ships around it by twice the size. Steering its wheel was a seemingly mad captain, whose entire upper body was that of a robotic skeleton, and his iron skull head blew out fire from his upper cranium and dozens of pipe-like beards on his chin. This sent his captain hat flying to the air, before landing neatly on his head once more.Bookmark here

A prominent X-shaped scar covered across the captain’s ruthless face, glowing orange everytime he shoots out fire from his skull. As black smoke puffed out of from the scar, the captain shouted to his crew-Bookmark here

“SHOVE THE COALS! RAISE UP THE FLAMES! THE DELIRNIUM’S HOWLING EVER CLOSER ME TRUSTY SKULLY CREW!!!”Bookmark here

“HURRAAAH!!!” The ship’s crew cheered.Bookmark here

“OUR EMPIRE DEMAND SOVEREIGN ACROSS THE SEAS! AND NONE ARE BETTER SUITED THAN I-”Bookmark here

[ CRANIA-KHAN ]
The Seared AdmiralBookmark here

“LONG LIVE THE SKULL CLAN!!!”Bookmark here

“HURAAAAAH!!!”Bookmark here

The fleet charged on to their destination, led by the oversized galleon under the mad admiral’s command.Bookmark here

Bookmarked
You can resume reading from this paragraph.