Chapter 93:

Interlude: Collector of the Sea


“All that work and they still failed at the end… Such a useless bunch we had, don’t you agree?” An older-looking woman in an exaggerated pirate costume spoke to the messenger waiting nearby. Her tone, although not clearly so, was still somewhat showing her annoyance with the situation.

She was the leader of the seaborne operations of the Eden Workshop which was known as Corsair. And that was a very fitting nickname for her clothes and demeanor.

An older woman with flowing bluish hair, a bombshell body, and wearing a costume schemed on blue, white, and golden. Her coat, pants, and special, hat, all screamed pirate, and somehow, they all were a perfect fit for this woman. Even her bombshell of a body and her scaly tail and lizard ears, signs of her dragonoid ancestry, only helped to this image.

It was almost as if she was born to be a pirate captain and so, it was impossible to call her eccentricities out. Even more when such eccentricities were why most of her crew was so loyal.

Why the whole operation was fashioned as some kind of pirate kingdom from the age of sail was beyond understanding though.

“Even if it had no purpose, it was still a good gamble to take. Capturing that thing is a priority mission right now…” The other figure in the room answered in a conceited tone, and this time, it was possible to see him. A thin 1.70m figure covered in black clothes and enchanted items. The one person who acted as the main intelligence personnel from the Eden Workshop.

“Throwing my crewmates in a trap brought what you were looking for, Brooker? Or do I have a rescue mission to prepare for no reason?" The pirate lady asked in what was, again, a covert tone of annoyance. "Also, you better not say something like ‘that thing’ again or our young boss will be very upset.”

Warnings were unneeded since that person wasn't here, but maybe it was better to avoid saying so still. A slip of tongue on this matter would be way too troublesome...

“Don't worry about me, okay? And anyway, that plan failed, but isn’t as if it’s my problem, Corsair...” Brooker’s clocked figure shot back from a corner of the room. “The pawns were yours anyway, so it’s your fault that they were used badly.”

It wasn’t as if attacking the Tortuga was an operation with good success chances anyway. It was more of a way to thin down the forces loyal to Watchmaker than anything.

Forcing that walking calamity to show her hand a little would be good, but that was the most it could achieve. Her capabilities were too much of a mystery to be countered and, in their boss' words, it wasn't as if doing so would have any effect.

The best way to deal with that girl was to ignore her until all was ready, which was also the best situation for the uneasy alliance Brooker had with her.

And it wasn't as if this assault was useless too. They lost some torpedo boats and an assault team, but the information was worth it. In special, knowing that the navy, or at least this division of the navy, could still act this efficiently was something to keep an eye on.

“Don’t call my crewmates pawns, please. I only accepted your gamble because my men pressed me into letting them go and I was assured that deaths would be few.” The self-made pirate captain glared at the other person in the room, putting quite a sizable killing intent on it. “We would be having a very different talk if the sunken boats were proper crewed ones or if my man were to be executed... Although, how you knew that an inquisitor wouldn’t kill on sight there? They’re not known for being lenient or reasonable even.”

“They aren't, but I was willing to bet this one wouldn't kill... Somewhat of a wild guess based on our last big loss if you will.”


“Yes, this one. I lost his location for the time being, but we know he was captured and should still be alive.” The cloaked figure explained with the usual ghastly voice as if all was a perfectly known fact. “Since that one wasn't killed, even if I lost him, then it would be fair to assume that they're trying to capture our people instead of killing them. As long as you tell everyone to surrender if things get sour, the deaths should be minimal."

“Since you're saying so, can I assume that you still know my crewmates' location?” Corsair asked with a stare that could bore holes in the walls of her quarters. This much was normal when interacting with her, though, so it wasn’t as if the target of this animosity would react to it.

Dealing with this kind of impulsive character was one of Brooker’s skills anyway, so it was easy to know how far to push and how much to say. People like these were easy enough to predict, even if their actions were based on feeling.

That was, as long as their heads weren’t a complete pandemonium.

A certain hard-to-predict inquisitor came to mind when thinking about it, but dealing with her was something to the future. For now, Annabeth Solomon could stay locked on her wild imp chase without any chance of success while the tables were set below her.

It wasn't as if she had any chance of ever unmasking Brooker with her current plans. Finding the wolf disguised as a sheep when you had no idea what a wolf looked like was more than impossible.

“I have an eye on them, but they’re headed to the Leviathan already. And with your ‘monster hunter’ plan already in movement…”

“It wouldn't be hard to do both.” The pirate interrupted with a captivating smile. “Your information seems to be underestimating my Black Fleet, Mr. Spy. I can easily manage my mission and save my people at the same time.”

“I would believe if it was against the navy alone, but with the inquisitor snooping around…”

“Even if that girl is worth as much as a battleship, I could still deal with her. A sole ifrit going berserker due to a newbie evil eye user isn’t even close to what I can throw at her...” Corsair then got up from her desk and walked to a wall decorated with a myriad of weapons set above a table covered by a collection of jewels. “And from what I heard, she’s also a collector of rarities, isn’t she? Maybe she’s the person that I can finally call ‘my rival’ even…”

The smiling captain moved her hands through the blades and guns on display, picking two pairs of them and setting these by her back. She also got a few pieces of jewelry from the table and made sure they were still working before turning to the door. Walking without sparing another glance to Brooker all the while.

“I’ll only tell you this once… Don’t underestimate that thi… Don't underestimate that girl.”

“No need for worry, my secretive companion…” Corsair kept moving as she spoke, unlocking the exit of her room and then opening its door. “I never underestimated something in my life.”

And as the pirate lady walked away from the weird wooden room in the middle of the massive fleet of dark metallic behemoths, all Brooker could think was about how many weirdos existed in the Archipelago.