June 5, 2017 9:32 am 6 Comments
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Edited by: crimsonwolf8439
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Claudius stared at the sharks while thinking, “Dire Sharks, huh. Double the size of normal sharks, almost as large as a great white shark, I guess? So that’s the level of power the Centurion has.”
The Dire Sharks swam around for half an hour before abruptly disappearing into the sea. No matter how hard the Udaeus Centurion blew the conch, the sharks still left and dove back into the deep sea region.
“So once a day, thirty minutes at a time? This is pretty much useless…… It should be useful for the ‘party’ after raiding ships though.” Claudius shrugged and gave the Centurion the Horn of Tritons. All three Centurions in his army each owned a magic tool, while Claudius kept the leather map for himself.
The operation of digging chutes was proceeding smoothly. Claudius was talented in digging in the first place, not to mention his flames which could be used to melt and reform rocks in the way. Using the buckets obtained from the ships, the Udaeus constantly supplied him with water for cooling and lubricating the ground, and the chutes were completed in no time. Claudius slowly walked down the chute, using his massive body to prevent the ships from crashing into the sea at high speeds. Step by step, the ships slowly slid down the chutes and eventually back into the sea. He then went ahead and started building a pier and breakwater on a whim. The project seemed to have awakened his inner playful self as Claudius began building happily like a child digging channels and building sandcastles on a beach.
After a week of work, the pier and breakwater were finally completed. “This can accommodate ships with waterlines of up to 20 metres deep! Even cruisers could fit in this wonderful pier!” Claudius admired his own work for a while before asking the Udaeus if they could sail a ship.
As soldiers who closely resembled Roman soldiers, the Udaeus honestly did not know how to sail ships like galleons. They might be able to sail a galley, but the pirates ships with three masts were beyond their ability. The problem right now was that the troops would weaken over time if they continued staying on the island; they had to find a place where they could support themselves. It would be great if there were farmers, but just a fertile piece of land where the Udaeus could farm themselves would be good enough. Looking through the large map, Claudius found the perfect location for his troops to settle down — Santa Cruz Island. Even Claudius was amazed by the name of the island as it sounded like an island back on Earth.
“It would be nice if I don’t have to fight the Battle of Santa Cruz though……”
Santa Cruz Island was a typical continental island of about 300 square kilometres, one of the medium sized islands among the Velen Isles. The foundation of the island was a thick layer of rock, with layers of dead coral reef and sand forming the main mass. It had a rather smooth terrain, consisting of a continuous chain of short hills, with the highest peak on the island being merely 60 metres above ground level. Tropical plants thrived on the island, covering it in dense vegetation. If not for its location, being far away from the main islands of the Velen Isles, and its lack of minerals, it would have become a densely populated island by now. Even so, it was not like the island was beyond the reach of humans. A small port town and villages connected by seaside routes were present on the island. Around 3000 residents were living a subsistent life, surviving purely on fishing and farming.
Although the main religion of the island was the religion of Anbo, there were also those who believed in the grain goddess Chauntea and Pelor, the god of sun. It was a relatively peaceful island, but it was all destined to change the moment Claudius laid his eyes on it.
The Santa Cruz Island was 100 kilometres south of Claudius’ nameless island. It would only take him only half an hour to fly there even if he flew casually. It seemed that Claudius failed to locate the island previously as he always headed north when hunting as a habit.
Claudius lowered the sails on the newly acquired ships and strapped the thick ropes around his body. Fanning his wings, he pulled the two ships as he flew. It was really tricky as he had to control the speed and angle of flight with caution to prevent the ships from crashing into each other or flipping over. This was also the reason why he chose not to pull one ship with the other connected behind it; it was impossible to stop the ship behind in that case.
The only problem right now was speed. Pulling two ships was not a big deal, but it was difficult to travel quickly while trying not to crash them. Claudius gritted his teeth as he was worried about the bitch goddess; he might attract her attention if he stayed in her territory for too long.
“You guys, get on my back now. Quickly and one by one…… Good, 20 soldiers at a time! Just 12 rounds and we’re done. Hopefully nothing happens while I’m gone……” Claudius hovered besides the ships as the Udaeus got onto his back. He also cursed as the effort spent on making the chutes was wasted while hoping that Anbo would stay quiet this time.
“Hah, did that bitch launch a large scale attack on my island just to grant me two new ships? How generous! She might as well be my long lost wife if she treated me so well,” Claudius laughed in his mind while refraining from speaking his thoughts as the goddess might be able to detect him sullying her.
He flew at a low altitude of 20 metres above sea level while controlling his speed. It took around 15 minutes to deliver the first batch of the Udaeus soldiers to the beach, and the entire operation took roughly six hours; the sky turned dark just as the last of the soldiers and supplies were transported to the island. Claudius was lucky that Anbo, as if experiencing a sudden change in personality, left his ships and soldiers alone as he flew back and forth. It was a mystery as to why she did not attack the ships — Claudius was sure that the goddess could locate the two ships as they were ‘blessed’ by her divine powers.
Perhaps Anbo spent a bit too much divine power in her previous rampage, forcing her to focus solely on resisting the corrosion by the Storm God Talos. Anyways, the Udaeus knew what to do the moment they landed as they were elite soldiers. They set up temporary camps for the night while scouts were sent to figure out the nearby terrain and routes. While the Udaeus were busy on land, Claudius was pulling the ships to the shore on his own; it was much easier, now that he did not have to worry about unintentionally throwing a few of his soldiers into the sea.
As expected, pulling the ships was a troublesome task. It took almost eight hours to reach his destination, arriving at the island just as the sun was rising up beyond the horizon. The ships were also in poor condition as Claudius focused on speed and bumped the ships into one another all the time; they looked more like massive floating ruins in the shape of ships right now……
“It might take over 10 hours if I pulled the ships slowly…… Eh? It’s just a few hours more? A few more hours for better ship condition? Nah, screw that. I can’t be bothered to think about such stuff, my Intelligence is merely…… let’s see…… 14 after all.” Claudius mocked himself while he shook his head.
To be fair, the decision to transport the Udaeus to the island with his body was the right decision. A night was all it took for the soldiers to scout the nearby region and have a good rest, and the Udaeus could not have done so if Claudius pulled the ships with them onboard. By the time Claudius arrived with the tattered ships, the Centurions had already devised battle plans and formations for marching. It would take around two to three hours to reach the first village according to their estimation. They would then obtain supplies and intel from the villagers before proceeding to conquer the entire island.
Claudius decided to leave everything to his subordinates as it would not end well if he took part in battles; only burnt villages and scorched soil would remain if he attacked. It was the exact opposite of what he was trying to do, thus leaving everything to the Udaeus was the best choice. This was, in the end, a mission to find a place for his subordinates to settle down, and it would only be right if they took part in the mission.