Chapter 89:

The Back of the Leviathan - Part 1


The Archipelago had a couple of hundred islands of colonizable size, and not all of them were. For one, Minako's mansion was in a place that could house a small village if needed. And as such, Anna was expecting that their destination was something of the kind, but with a navy base on top.

But, by the heavens, she was wrong.

“THEY HAVE THEIR OWN CATHEDRAL?!!!” The hypnotized girl seeing flying machines in place of ships exclaimed as they boarded the port. “I never managed to be assigned to one of these… This is so cool!”

“Now that is something I can agree with, my friend Col! I never imagined seeing such a big moving structure.” Minako added to the brunette’s amazement with her own, the both of them moving around in a daze as they tried to see as much as possible. “If I knew these existed, I would have used one instead of buying an island…”

“Not sure if you could buy one of these, but I would recommend it for sure! Airships are the only good kind of ship anyway.”

“Yeah, we in a big airship… Minus the air part, but well…” The companion in deadpan of the two girls in high spirits added from the sidelines of the talk. She was, for obvious reasons, using a tone too low to be comprehensible, but it still got her friend’s attention.

“What did you say, Anna?”

“I asked if yer fine. That horned brat did a number on ya earlier…” The weaponized liar changed her words as if nothing was happening and then changed the subject too. “Still, this place’s kinda… Unexpected?”

“You can’t protect your walls if your enemies can fly, you see?” Karim spoke as if quoting someone, though her eyes were focused on the line of prisoners being hauled in front of them. And as she said so, the other two girls kept wandering around, going ever so further away from them. “A lot of anti-air and a moving location, though, this can very much counter planes... Or that's the idea, at least.”

“So instead of gettin' any plan, you people focused all on counterin' 'em… Two pieces of information to sell fer the price of one.”

“The admiralty will hate you for that.” The member of the governmental faction added what was a fair point in all honesty. “Any new sanction will be your fault.”

“So I lose nothin’, eh? Better start takin’ notes then.”

From what Annabeth could see, this place was a massive ship meant to service other ships. It was as large as a few dozen capital ships from the continental navy.

Two or three kilometers in length and a quarter of this much in width from what she could see. And that was without counting the fleet docked around it.

Some were patrolling and some were only on standby, but many were undergoing supply or repairs, both things this place seemed to be meant to manage.

Just with the fleet as protection, this whole moving fortress would be already a decent enough base, but the base itself was also heavily armed. Some huge stationary cannons and more anti-air than anyone could hope to breech without a huge cost, but no runaway or anything of the sort.

It was enough to be compared with a common navy base, and with the number of ships moving around it, it likely had the capability to do more.

How this behemoth of a ship worked and moved around was way beyond Anna’s comprehension though. Just thinking about what kind of engines it had to do was enough to give her a headache.

Even fully enchantment-based engines running with catalysts and gems would have a hard time moving this monster. The number of mages alone would be a problem, even in the continent.

The other options would be combustion and hybrid engines, the ones that used both spells and fuel to move, but these had their own problems too.

For one, the number of oilers moving around to keep a floating fortress on the move would likely give away its positions too. It would be more inside the scope of what was used on the island though, and wouldn’t need the help of who-know-how-many enchanters to keep going, at least.

There would be a way around this if they had the old artifacts that acted as the Cathedrals’ cores, but building them was beyond anyone. And all but one of the ones in existence were being used to keep saying Cathedrals working already.

Unless the shipbuilding technology on this side of the world was a whole era away from the continent, this thing was still outrageous.

But since thinking about this wouldn't bring an answer, it was time to let the matter die. She'd need some time to investigate it later, and only then there was a chance to get any answers.

“Will you get stuck in deep thought for too long?” Anna’s partner called as she was close to losing herself in theories and observations. “We have to speak with Admiral Moem, remember?”

“Sorry, I got too focused on this thingy… I can’t go sellin’ half-backed data, y’know?”

“This ‘thing’ is called Leviathan, by the way. This one’s the head of the class if I’m not mistaken…”

“Your information is accurate, missy...” A slow voice commented on their discussion after finishing with the prisoners. “Leviathan-class Floating Fortress ADF L-01 Leviathan... The biggest vessel to ever sail and the biggest monster of the seas… The pride of the admiralty and a huge money sink... But a needed one...”

His old eyes were locked on the redhead as the small explanation went on, likely due to the information about the Federation's air bases. Anna had no reason or motive to complain about this, and she never planned to either way. Those were more of a fun novelty than anything she hoped would ever be used anyway.

“Would you be willin’ to get me a technical manual fer it?” She asked in such a blatantly jokey way that even the tortle couldn’t avoid showing a small smile. “C’mon I take yer people’s spy all ‘round, so you could help me a li’l bit too.”

“I’m not a spy. Reporting unlawful actions is only my duty as a citizen.” Karim snarked back, which both broke the soft but tense tone of the conversation and got it on a more ‘business as usual’ tone. The petite cop’s words still brought a smile to her partner’s face, though, even if said partner was unsure of why.

“Well, I guess that’s it then… Thank you fer the ferry and all the help, captain." The inquisitor went on in a more serious tone than usual. "I may’ve forcer yer hand back there, but I’m genuine in mah’ thanks, ‘kay?”

“To be honest, I have no good memories with inquisitors… One of you even sunk my first ship... But you’re on the less-worse side...” Morgan answered what was one of the few times Anna spoke with a semblance of respect to someone. “I could even let you close to my ship again… And you wouldn’t be shot right away…”

She was getting soft, Anna was sure of that as she was sure of the smile on her face. Even if she wanted to show proper etiquette to someone that helped her, even if due to others’ influence, there was no need to socialize with a demon.

Still, for this one time, this soldier uncle wasn’t so bad, so giving him an extra service shouldn’t be so bad…

And in the next moment, she was in one of the most perfect salutes anyone had ever seen.

“Thanks for all, captain, and ‘til next time.”

The inquisitor then turned around and left to call their two other companions lost somewhere, keeping a perfect posture as she did so and leaving a very confused witch behind.