Chapter 4: Let’s Surrender Before We Lose
Despite Cory’s reservations, the trebuchet was assembled with practiced movements—as if they had done this many times before.
The sails were removed and used to make a sturdy sling. Meanwhile, the main yard pole was tied down on both sides to the railing of quarterdeck.
Butcha was in charge of attaching three cannons to the base of the mast which was now hanging in mid-air, pointing at the warship attacking the aft of The Wingless.
The first mate tied the makeshift sling to the lowered end of the mast pointed at the lower deck while the other two pirates quickly dipped a cannonball into a barrel of oil and deposited the projectile into its nest.
As a learned NEET from the 21st century who studied physics, he understood what the pirates were trying to do as soon as the trebuchet began to take shape.
The question was why.
He spoke up while there was still time to turn back, ‘Can’t you use the cannon to fire at that ship? Just turning it in that direction will do…’
Captain Regi turned to him as Lightning yelled, ’Take aim!’
Someone lit a match and dropped it into the sling. Fire consumed the cannonball.
‘We ran out of gunpowder though,’ she replied casually. ‘There’s only enough left for our guns.’
You don’t even use a gun!
Cory could feel the heat of the flames from where he stood farthest away from the madness.
The pirate captain turned back to her men and hollered cheerfully, ‘Fire!’
Butcha and Lightning, who were sitting on the mast to keep the heavy cannons in the air, jump down and everyone bolted out of the way.
Even the pirates engaged in battle at the aft of The Wingless scattered out of the way to avoid getting hit by the hurtling mast.
The fiery cannonball flew through the air in a big, flaming arc landed with a large splash into the sea behind the enemy vessel.
‘My bad,’ Lightning said in the speechless silence that followed, ‘I made the sling too long.’
Captain Regi pursed her lips, but only for a moment. A cheerful smile lit up on her face once again. ’Oh well,’ she said, ‘it was better than last time.’
With a spring in her step, she released a cable hidden in the silver vambraces on her wrists.
Thin metal cables shot out and embedded themselves to the top of the mizzen mast1the third mast of a fully-rigged sailing ship. A well-placed tug recoiled the cable and sent her flying through the air, much like the fiery cannonball from before.
Only, unlike that cannonball, she landed lightly on the fallen mast that now formed a bridge between the two ships. Exactly as intended.
The pirates and the soldiers had both retreated when the mast came crashing down, so Captain Regi was alone on the battlefield.
The Hiddel soldiers stared at her with gaping mouths for a moment before they came to their senses and held up their weapons again.
‘Put them down, put them down,’ the lithe, amber-haired girl said with a wave of her hand. ‘I’ve come to surrender. Let’s not fight anymore, yeah?’
Cory blinked in confusion.
‘Did Cap’n Regi just say we was going to surrender?’ Butcha asked Lightning blankly.
‘En,’ the first mate replied.
‘But we hasn’t lost the battle yet,’ the large pirate pointed out. ‘Why are we surrendering?’
Lightning blinked, an unreadable expression on his face.
According to her in-game profile, Regi was feisty and capable, a model thief, always able to extricate herself out of impossible situations and emerge victorious in unexpected ways.
After meeting her and witnessing her confidence for himself, Cory thought her real personality matched what he knew about her through the game.
Not once in the entire storyline of Questasis did she ever surrender to the Hiddel Navy.
They were arch-enemies, water and fire, mutually opposed and always going against the other.
And now, in a sea battle against the Hiddel Navy, Captain Regi…surrendered?
It seemed the real Regi was an even bigger disappointment than the game’s poorly-developed version of her.
The epic sea battle that was building up with exciting fervour, ended with the pirate captain cuffed and chained like an imprisoned bird and the rest of her crew divested of their weapons and tied up together.
As for Cory?
He was mistaken as one of the crew and bound alongside the sweaty, bloodied pirates.