Chapter 5: Go Home and Marry the Earl
As The Wingless began its long journey back to shore, surrounded on all sides by Hiddel Navy warships, Cory lamented his bad luck transmigrating into Lan of all places.
The world of Questasis was called Areya.
The continent where thieves and pirates thrived was called Lan.
Cory still remembered the description of Lan in the Questasis Wiki.
“The founders of this continent were humans who escaped from the slavery of the fey and elves on the Great Continent. They saw land and arbitrarily named their kingdom ‘Lan’ because they just couldn’t be bothered anymore.”
He thought to himself, ‘As expected of Regi’s homeland.’
Lightning, who had been bound up right next to the little stowaway, watched the teenager’s face turn from disbelief to discomfort and then to resignation and wondered what he was thinking about.
So far, the little stowaway hadn’t shown any signs of panic or fear. Even in the heat of the sea battle with the Hiddel Navy, his reaction had been worry—worry that the trebuchet was a bad idea.
The teenager felt his stare and looked up at him. Lightning gave him a reassuring smile. ‘Don’t worry,’ he said, ‘Cap’n Regi will get us out of here.’
On Cory’s other side, Big Beard let out a big sigh. ‘I joined Cap’n Regi for them swashbucklin’ adventures and treasure huntin’—not to get caught by navy brats every few days for a lecture on propie…something.’
‘Propriety,’ Lightning said. Big Beard sighed again.
Cory furrowed his brows. ‘Every few days?’ he echoed.
‘That’s an exaggeration,’ Lightning explained. ‘We haven’t gotten caught once in three months. This time, we were at a disadvantage.’
A pirate somewhere in the bundle snorted. ‘With that many of them, we’re always at a disadvantage.’
There was another thing in Big Beard’s statement that troubled him. ‘Then…the lecture on propriety?’
Lightning grinned. ‘Oh that?’ But before he could continue speaking, The Wingless bumped into the hemp rope buffs along length of the dock with an unexpected force that sent the bundle of pirates tumbling.
Loud curses spewed out like seawater as everyone struggled back to their feet.
‘Watch it! That’s my foot.’
‘Ow, ow, ow! Why’s your crutch bound up ‘ere with the rest of us?’
‘Mind the gapin’ wound!’
‘Gross! Whose guts did I just step on?’
A navy officer with golden epaulettes stepped up and bellowed, ‘Silence!’ and the racket softened to a low grumbling.
He made a gesture and his soldiers began to unwind them into a line.
‘Lead them straight to the holding prison.’
Almost immediately, they were jostled ashore and into the looming Hiddel Fort.
Cory would have taken this opportunity to admire his surroundingsafter all, this was an MMORPG he played come to life—but he was now a short and skinny teenager, which meant his surroundings were the navy soldiers that flanked them on either side.
It wasn’t until the navy soldiers tossed all of them into a locked cell that he was able to see
more than just heads and shoulders.
The holding prison was a large stone room with thin slits high along one wall letting light through.
They were locked up in one of the two cells inside this room. The open space beyond the cells was mostly empty, with only one stone chair in the middle of it and a table of what must be torture tools guarded by blank-faced navy soldiers.
Right now, there was an amber-haired pirate in that stone chair, grinning up at the navy officer who was double-checking the locks around her wrists and ankles.
‘How have you been, Asana? Hope my father hasn’t been overworking you while I’m gone.’
The officer named Asana ignored Captain Regi. Once he finished his inspection, he took two steps back and stood at attention.
Captain Regi frowned. She was just about to say more when the big wooden doors of the holding prison opened and a big, burly amber-haired official entered the room.
Everyone who was not a pirate saluted him at once and greeted in unison, ‘Admiral Gladstone!’
The resemblance was obvious immediately.
Admiral Gladstone’s amber hair was the exact same shade of orange as Captain Regi’s.
Cory’s jaw fell. What the hell?
Captain Regi’s father was the admiral of the Hiddel Navy? Wasn’t she an orphan in Questasis?
What kind of plot twist is this?!
The plot twist didn’t end here.
Admiral Gladstone strode up to his disobedient daughter and folded his arms.
He said to her, ‘Are you done playing around? Go home and marry the earl I found for you today.’