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Rennel’s somewhat forceful approach finally convinced the female gnome envoy to agree to her proposal. So that night, Rennel took it upon herself to guard the airship as it sails silently on the dark water. To ensure that the girl would not need to worry about anything else but keeping watch, Lucata and the others stayed not too far away from her. If she detected anything, she could just report to them.
But since they’re not Rennel that could stay awake the entire night, the gnomes did the guarding through rotation that they agreed upon earlier. So while half of the gnomes sleep, the other half would keep watch. They would then replace the other gnomes after a certain time.
Also, since Pina was worried that Rennel would feel bored watching the sea all night; she decided to accompany her and took a pillow and blanket from their cabin. She decided that she would converse with Rennel till she falls asleep which rewarded her with a teasing from Miranda – telling her that she couldn’t even accompany her best friend the entire night.
Obviously, Pina ignored all of this. That said she was indeed feeling guilty that she couldn’t even help her friend. But Rennel assured her that her presence alone was enough for her. Now as for the Sorceress Cassandra... the sorceress stayed in her cabin to get a proper rest as agreed upon along with Miranda who would be there if the sorceress needed anything.
The only other person that might stay awake till morning was the old captain who, due to his age doesn’t really need to much sleep. At most he only needed an hour ot two of sleep in the morning.
And true to her words, Rennel did indeed stay up all night in order to keep watch. Fortunately, the airship was not attack by the sea monsters while it was drifting in the sea during the entirety of the night.
But once noon sets in (not that anyone could actually tell since the Dark Sea remained dark all day) the sea monsters appeared and tried to attack the airship again. They tried, but ultimately failed to cause any damage to the airship and her passenger because the sorceress, now fully rested, was able to detect them ahead of time.
“This can’t keep up,” said the captain after once another emergency meeting was held.
“Indeed. If we keep on flying to escape the monsters we will run out of fuel much quicker than what we calculated beforehand.” Lucata agreed with a solemn expression on her face.
Hearing her words, everyone’s expression turned severe. The airship uses a special type of engine to fly which in turn required a special type of fuel. Although the primary raw material needed for the fuel wasn’t difficult to procure and could easily be minded easily underground all over the continent, the processing method was a different story altogether. Basically speaking, the processing method of the primary raw material into useable fuel was very complicated. And using this world’s current technology, the amount of airship fuel that could be made was very limited.
As such, although their airship was carrying more fuel than an average airship, it could only last them for so long. And since they needed to fly whenever they encountered the sahagins or other hostile sea monsters to prevent serious damage to the airship, the limited fuel they have would be consumed much quicker than if they alternate flying and sailing at certain intervals.
Moreover, even if they have more fuel in stock they wouldn’t be able to carry all of them as the weight that the airship could handle was very limited as well. After reaching certain weight limits, the airship won’t be able to fly. Not to mention they have to carry food and water as well. It’s actually possible to replace the barrels of drinkable water with magicians which what exactly they did but food is an entire matter altogether. Unless they could procure their own food while in the Dark Sea they could only carry enough to feed everyone for at least a month.
All of the above reasons force the gang to only carry limited amount of fuel. That said; the airship could still function as a regular ship once on water so it’s not like they’ll be stranded on the Dark Sea once they run out of fuel. But the difference in speed when traveling on air was like the difference between day and night when traveling by sea. They can’t be compared at all.
“Our airship would definitely suffer damages if we face the monsters head-on but it should still be much better compared to running away like dogs, and running out of fuel eventually,” said the captain’s right hand man.
“Right! We should fight and show those monsters that they can’t keep messing with us!”
Having reached this stage, the atmosphere aboard the airship grew heated. Most of the gnomes were already tired of running away, and wanted to duke it out with the sea monsters.
“Um… excuse but could you listen to me for a moment?” A calm voice was suddenly heard.
Everyone was startled by the voice and turned towards the person who just spoke. It was Rennel.
“So it’s you lass. Do you have something to tell us? By all means please speak.”
The captain and gnomes has a very good impression of the silver-haired girl due to what she did for them the day before, and the fact that she sacrificed her sleep so that everyone could rest. As such were more than willing to accommodate her whenever possible.
“Actually I would just like to tell everyone that we need the sahagins to lead us to the missing prince and his crew’s location,” Rennel dropped a bombshell. “That’s why it’s not a good idea to fight the sahagins right now” she added.
Rennel’s words were like a bomb to everyone. It was unexpected and devastating (in a good way). Of all the things they expected the girl to say, none of them saw what she’d just said coming.
Allow the sahagins to keep attacking them to find the prince and the others? How? They’re all speaking the same language but her words don’t make sense to them!
Since no one could make sense of what Rennel had said, they could only ask her. Luckily, Rennel doesn’t mind explaining further. According to the silver-haired girl, the sahagins that had attacked them twice now were the same group of monsters and that they seemed to be trying to lead the airship to a certain direction.
“If my guest is correct, were being lead to a more powerful sea monster,” Rennel explained.
“You mean this other sea monster was controlling the sahagins to attack us?” Lucata asked after thinking deeply about it.
“Let’s say that you’re correct and that the sahagins are really leading us. What does it has anything to do with the prince and his crew?”
“If my guess is correct then the prince’s airship was also attacked and lead by the sahagins to the location of mysterious monster just like us. So if we allowed the sahagins to bait us to that mysterious monster we might just find the prince’s whereabouts.” Rennel explained.
Hearing her explanation everyone’s eyes widened in disbelief. Although her explanation might seem absurd at first glance, it actually made sense if they added what happened yesterday and today. Of course there’s also a possibility that she’s just starting to imagine things due to lack of sleep.
But what if she’s right? What if the prince and his crew were indeed chased around by the same sahagins that were chasing them earlier? Should they really trust the girl and her strange ideas?
“I believe her. Although her idea seemed wild at a glance, there’s actually some sense to it especially if we consider our current location,” the sorceress finally spoken after listening quietly to the side.
“Honestly, we’re running out of idea here. The longer we search the lower the chance that we’ll find the prince and his crew alive,” Miranda chimed in. “So we might as well try her idea right? Besides, I also believe that Rennel wouldn’t make stories just for the hell of it.” She added.
“Agreed! Rennel wouldn’t joke around for no reason, especially if other people’s lives were at stakes!”
As Rennel’s best friend, there’s no way that Pina would not take the girl’s side. Moreover she got Miranda and her teacher’s support so the girl was more emboldened.
“Hmm… We might regret it if we follow the girl’s idea but if we don’t find the prince and others as fast as possible we might no longer have the chance to save them,” said the old captain. “Therefore, I would like to try her idea no matter how crazy it might sound.”
The gnomes turned their head towards the envoy who could do nothing but helplessly sigh. She knew that despite trying to ask for her opinion, everyone aboard the airship pretty much made their mind to follow the silver-haired girl’s idea.
“Do it! Why wouldn’t we? We gnomes had never been afraid of unorthodox methods!” The envoy Lucata declared with a huge grin on her childish face.
And just like that. Rennel’s idea was accepted by everyone on the airship. Her plan was rather simple. They just need to pretend to escape once they spotted the sahagins. But instead of flying to an altitude were the sea monsters couldn’t reach them anymore, the airship would instead land not too far away pretending to be low on fuel or something.
The girl’s plan was simple that it couldn’t even be called a proper plan. Nonetheless, everyone still liked it more than the complicated presented by one of the gnomes. After a few more attempts, the gang finally appeared near a giant landmass.
“Unbelievable… To think that the plan actually works,” the old captain murmured in amazement as he looks at the “island.” As the giant landmass in front of them was just the peak of the mountains, it couldn’t be called a proper island.
“Yes. It actually had my doubts but as the girl said, the sahagins only plan on leading us to this place. And now that they succeeded, all of them vanishes into the mist,” the old captain’s right hand man, commented.
It was as the gnome had said. Once they were lured into this part of the ocean, the sahagins quickly retreated as if afraid of staying longer than they should.
“We found it huh…,” Lucata said in a voice that was almost a whisper. “Sorceress, can you feel the presence of the prince and the other gnomes in that landmass?” She asked after turning towards Sorceress Cassandra.
Sorceress Cassandra nodded her head, “there are indeed people on that landmass but there seemed to be a lot more people compared to the number you gave me before we departed.”
“What? Are you saying there are other people besides the prince and his crew?” One of the gnomes asked.
“Yes. Aside from the gnomes, there were also several humans in that landmass. About of a dozen of them…”
“At least a dozen humans huh… Well, it doesn’t matter. We have enough supplies for more passengers thanks to Rennel’s plan that allowed us to save on fuel and food,” envoy Lucata said while shrugging her shoulder. “So we could still accommodate more people.”
Sorceress Cassandra, Rennel and other girls smiled after hearing that the gnomes don’t plan on abandoning the stranded humans. Although they would understand if the gnomes left the humans there to save their own, the four of them wouldn’t feel comfortable traveling with such people.
“So how should we get into the island?” Miranda asked while looking at the barely visible landmass.
Her questioned was definitely strange considering that they have an airship that could easily fly towards the landmass. But none of the people aboard have forgotten the other thing that Rennel had said earlier: The mysterious monster that could command the sahagins to do its biddings.
Now that Rennel’s earlier conjunction was proven without a doubt, none of the people on board the airship have doubts on the existence of the mysterious monster. Seeing how suspicious everything was, everyone knew that they had walked into a trap.
“Just what exactly are we dealing with here?” Pina asked as she stares at the silhouette of the giant landmass that could barely be seen thank to all the fogs.
“It’s a giant squid-like monster,” Rennel answered with a solemn expression on her face.”
Everyone quickly turned towards the girl after hearing her answer. The old captain and the sailors’ reactions were actually more severe. And how could it not? They might be manning an airship instead of a regular ship but that doesn’t mean that the captain and his sailors knew nothing of the legends in that existed for god knows how long.
The captain and his assistant quickly returned to the flight deck after hearing that they might be facing against a legendary monster. He didn’t even try to verify whether the girl saw wrongly or not. No, he has no doubt in his mind that the girl was telling the truth because her action till know proves it.
“All hands on deck. And make sure to man those damn harpoons!” The old captain barked his ordered once his hands touched the steering wheel.
All the gnomes except for the envoy’s people scuttled to their post as fast as their legs could take them. Despite knowing that they would most likely fight a monster from the legends, all of the gnomes showed excitement instead of fear.
They had no doubt that fighting the legendary Kraken might cause them their lives but for as sailors, seeing and fighting the legendary monster was a once in a lifetime chance.
“These idiots had gone crazy…,” Lucata cursed with a hand on her forehead.
How could she not understand what her kinsmen were thinking? For these gnome sailors, the encounter with the Kraken does not represent just danger but opportunity as well. Even if they couldn’t defeat the legendary monster, as long as they could survive the encounter would be enough for them to be treated as heroes amongst sailors.
“Increase the altitude!” The old captain ordered.
The airship steadily leaves the water as it rose up into the air. But almost at the same time that airship started rising, they heard the girl cried out a warning.
“It’s coming!” Rennel warned. “There’s an incoming attack from below!”
Hearing the girl’s warning, the old captain quickly steered the wheel of the airship to the dodge the incoming attack that’s coming from below.
The water exploded as a huge, no, a giant and long tentacle coming under the water tried to sink the airship. Fortunately, Rennel’s warning was timely and the airship manages to evade the giant tentacle.
And with another crash, a huge, squid-like creature came out of the water: It was the legendary Kraken!