Chapter 119:

Operational Unreadiness - Part 2


“I may be too outdated and these metal ships of yours are able to fight leviathans, so I’ll let you girls discuss in peace now…”

“Wait there, brat!” Anna stopped the kid-looking angel as half the things he said were very relevant to her investigation. He dropped two different known keywords while speaking under translation.

“Huh? Do you want to escort me to this ‘brig’ of yours? I believe it was already said that I’m unable to do much right now, so it’s unnecessary…”

“Nay! It’s ‘bout the ley line thingy. What yer talkin' 'bout it?”

“What a weird question… They’re what keeps our civilization working, aren’t they? You know, transport, industry, weaponry, communications, magic, everything relies on the properly controlled and channeled pure spiritual energy. Without it the unbound energy would be too thin.” He explained in a matter-of-fact tone that soon broke under the expressions most people in the room were making. “That’s not how you all see it, is it? How is this place so full of energy then?”

“Ley lines are a sham… I mean, they have to be.” Minako was the one to answer this time, using the same aggressive energy she had whenever this subject came to her. “Loose energy is chaos, so how could it…”

“Hmmm… I see something very big changed in my time chained… Is the Continental Barrier still a thing? That was the biggest achievement of the whole project, so…”

“It’s still there, but there ain’t no ley line keepin’ it. The foxes keep the damn thing under control one post at a time.”

The boy stopped again, putting himself in deep thought while everyone else waited in silence. His aura and Anna’s doing the job to stop the whole subject on which they were focused a few moments ago.

“So, this weird flow and that disturbance earlier… Do you mean this ley line I’m using right now isn’t a real one? It IS weaker than what I remember, but still…”

“Ain’t sure if it’s a fake or not, but I’m sure whatever this’s ain’t what ya had before. But knowin’ it’s similar means lots to mah' research… And to yers too, fox.”

“My temple research isn’t an application of a wrong theory, but the theory itself, isn’t it?” Minako bit her lips as she asked, likely cursing her lack of awareness. “And it probably means that every weird mythical application from the stories can be done with it too.”

“Wow. Doesn’t that mean that we just made a huge discovery here? It’s the kind of thing that changes books, right?” Karim also pooled her opinion on the matter. “Ley lines are the same level of legendary as the ‘anti-life spell’ and the ‘golden apple’, you know?”

“You people still know about these, eh? It seems not all knowledge was lost then. Although I’m unsure of how useful neither of those would be without proper ley lines…”

Michael’s words once more turned the room silent even if it wasn’t the plan. Still, what he was saying gave meaning to this whole charade of giant temples and landmarks. In fact, his words gave two perfect options as to what exactly was the aim of building something like a fake and massive ley line.

Anna knew almost way too much about this subject too, but it was all marked with ‘random folktales’ in her mind. Things would be very chaotic if she started to consider everything from artificial gods to weapons that could steal souls as truths.

It was even more worrying than the noises she was starting to hear far away. Many explosions and shouts from what she could identify this far away. Signs that they were closer to the whole battle than the Beehive’s captain thought and that, for their luck, it wasn’t too late to join.

“Change in plans, everyone. Yer stayin’ ‘ere at the bridge, brat, and will flee with Whitey the moment somethin’ goes wrong. We can’t risk losin’ ya until we’re sure yer words are true now.” Anna snap-ordered the people around her, trying to think of the best way to force this ship to retreat now that she had something more important than a rat. She was even willing to sacrifice the lizard admiral and all his forces to keep this brat. “Also, stay away from the main battle and never deploy all the fairies. Y’all need to be able to flee fast if things go wrong, and you’ll be keepin’ guard on ‘em, Col. Yer the best one fer point-defense.”

“Hey! I’m not staying inside this fucking trap of rocking steel. At least let me go to the bigger one!” The brunette incapable of swimming shouted from her stable hiding spot, giving all her fair points as to why she should leave. “More than that, this place is a double target like this. I know what people do with anything that has airpower during a battle! This puny ship will be blown up right away…”

And, of course, all her arguments were promptly ignored and instead of a positive answer, she received a glowing syringe and a powerful glare.

“Fleein’ the base’ll be too hard, and keepin’ our new prisoner and the lizard’s protegee’s more important now. You either stay ‘ere as is or use a quarter of this, but there ain’t no way yer leavin’ this ship before we’re safe.”

The redhead’s tone and aura weren’t giving any space to the, in all but official rank, lower-class inquisitor. Even if she called Col a friend, they were still on different levels when the matter was about hierarchy. It wasn’t something that she liked to use since it felt like a dishonorable argument, but it was sometimes necessary.

The real problem here would be making the other ones move as she wanted. In special, she would need something to convince her partner and her expression of obvious displeasure.

“Are you planning to abandon the navy, Annabeth?!”

“I’m only thinkin’ ‘bout the plan B, y’see? We ain’t sure how things’re there, but we can save some face by usin’ Whitey ‘ere, and we need to question this angel brat…”

“No, I know you’re not! I can see that you’re planning to leave now that you have something more useful, but we can’t let terrorists have their way like this! At least, we have to help them evacuate the base. It should be possible with that stealth thing…”

“Ya think so, ay? Lemme see what our local captain thinks ‘bout that...” Anna turned to the white-haired fairy in front of her, but neither she nor the captain herself could say something right now. They were seeing the glimpse of something too ridiculous to manage a decent reaction, although Karim was still to see it.

“I don’t care what Alya thinks, we’re not retreating and that’s an order if I need to say it! Also... What are you two look…? By the heavens…!”

The blonde girl finally noticed where all the eyes were pointed and had the same reaction as everyone else. None could fault them for losing all lines of thought due to that too, seeing a turtle shell towering on the horizon had this effect. Especially if said shell was covered in metal to the point that it looked more like a massive battleship than like a turtle.

Only one person could react to it in any other way than silence, and it was the single brat that knew what this thing was.

“I said there was a leviathan close by… Although I never saw one with cannons on its back.”