Just a Treasure (The Tale of a Knight, a Ninja, and a Pirate): Chapter 8

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Sorry that I haven't been writing in so long, school just got out, YAAAAAY =), and i've been too lazy. But anyways, here is Chapter 8, with the first ship-on-ship fight of the book! Enjoy!



I walked onto the deck at about 6:00 in the morning to find most of the crew already sitting and eating on it. Talon and Gaueko rushed by me, battling over a scrap of what looked like sausage. I walked across the deck, before slipping on a wet patch of ground and bumping into a tall, scarred crew member who I didn't know all that well.

"Watch where you're going, you whoreson!" he yelled, and I raised a hand in apology, turning to walk to John, face reddening with anger and embarrasment.

John was sitting with Yuki, Swift Crow, and Hector, and as I sat, he gave me a plate and some silverware. A bowl of eggs, a basket of rolls, and a plate of sausage laid in front of us as well, and I began to pick what I wanted and eat. We sat in silence. Most of us were probably more than a little tired from our battle with the Carib the other day, and it was still very early.

"Alright, when you finish your breakfast, ready your weapons and report to the main deck. We'll do a first check of the ship from there!" John yelled to the crew, and nods of assent went up from the crew.

"What should Yuki and I do?" I asked him.

"Get your weapons, and stay the screw out of the way," Hector said with a grin. We all gave grim laughs at his little jest.

The sky had begun to lighten a lot by now, and John got up and walked over to the rest of of his men and began to patrol around the ship, presumably to begin checking on things. I had eaten my fill of eggs, which wasn't much, so now I began to sharpen my blade with a whetstone and re-cover my shield with some more paint. My shield was all metal and it wasn't bent or dented at all, but the blue and yellow fleur-de-lis design on its surface had been scratched and tarnished by Carib blades and Stormbolt claws.

"I like that shield, Frenchman. Did you make it?" Swift Crow asked me.

"Indeed. It took me four days to get it just right. I discarded at least twenty ealier versions of it that were imperfect," I said.

"We'll see how it holds up to a cannon shot," the tall Apache said with a grin, and we all gave chuckles.

After a couple preliminary checks of the boat and our gear, we all lwere pretty much ready...and it was 7:50. Kip and the Kraken would be here soon. Swift Crow began to deftly steer the boat out to the open water where we had agreed to hold the battle, and we found no sign of Kip there. We were a bit early, and they still had to get here, so John opted on a patient course and waited. I leaned on the rail, and Yuki leaned beside me.

"Beautiful, isn't it? The open sea, I mean," she said. A meaningful statement from a teenager, kunoichi may she be.

"Yes, but I've never been much of the sailor type myself. I need solid ground to kill people on," I said, and we both smiled.

"I never liked ships myself either, but I suppose the Cutter's alright. She's a beautiful one. John is a little...eccentric though," Yuki said.

"You know he loves you. He wants you, and all the rest of us to be safe," I told her.

As I said that, I caught sight of a boat's bow. The Kraken. She was rounding the corner of the island dead ahead of us, and coming at us, fast. I drew my sword and hooked my shield over my left arm. Yuki drew out her ninjato sword as well, and we waited. John gave a cry of "All hands ready! Get to your positions!" The enemy ship was turning now, exposing its side to us...Hatches were opening on the side now, revealing a horrible set of 5 deadly cannons.

"Cannon fire incoming! Get down!" Jet cried, and a thunderous bang echoed through the air.

Both Yuki and I crouched down, and a wave of heat went over me. A terrible roaring and smashing noise split the very air itself, and I felt my earlobes getting torn apart, felt myself being ripped in half. I got down behind my shield out of instinct, even though Swift Crow had been right: the flimsy piece of metal wouldn't do a thing against cannon shot. The hull gave a horrible lurch underneath us, and I heard churning water, snapping wood, screaming men...and then as soon as the cannon fire had started, it stopped.  

I got to my feet carefully, and amazingly, we weren't smashed into smithereens. The ship had only sustained some minor damage on its port side (for all of you landlubbers, that means left), and most of the other cannon shots had landed in the water all around us. We weren't turned, and thus our side wasn't exposed to the enemy, giving them less target area to hit...and as a result, their barrage hadn't done much.

"Swift Crow, you know what to do! The Slingshot Swan! Cannon men, get to your cannons, and everybody else...cover your ears," John called.

Swift Crow turned the ship in a horribly fast turn, pulling us in a slingshot motion right at the enemy so that we were zooming sideways, right at their ship with our starboard side (again, you land people, that's the right side) bared, and all of the Cutter's 6 side cannons bared. John gave the yell to fire, and I dropped, plugging my ears. The ship seemed to burst into the air with a force of the cannon fire, but we shot, and our shots slammed into the side of the Kraken, sending wood splinters flying, explosions across the side of the ship, and men hurtling into the air to slam down into the water.

We had done much more damage with our attack, and Swift Crow's spectacular "Slingshot Swan" maneuver had caused us to wind up right next to them...within boarding range. Several ropes swung down from above, and I grabbed onto one, as did Swift Crow and several other of our our crew members.

"Use the ropes to swing onto their ship! Board them!" John yelled.

And with that, I jumped, swinging over above the enemy ship, raising my blade high. At the apex of my swing I let go of the rope, whirling my blade and hurtling over the surprised mercenaries underneath me. I landed on one man's face, using my feet to hammer down onto it. He died for sure, as I felt my boots push his nose back up into his brain as he was killed. I looked around, and now two men were running at me. One had a blunderbuss and the other had an axe. I ducked under the axeman's first blow and raised my shield up, protecting my face from the first pistol shot that bounced off of my shield's metal. I then swung the shield into the man's face before ramming my blade through his chest. The axeman was coming at me from behind now, and he had two other crewmen with him.

One man went down as a bullet struck him in the chest. I looked behind me to see Swift Crow standing there, a still-smoking rifle in his hands. The remaining men ran at us. I stepped under a wild cutlass cut and sliced my sword across the man's chest. The axeman was running at Swift Crow, but the Apache tracker sidestepped his first cut before ramming a dagger up to the hilt in the man's throat and throwing him off of it.

The battle was turning in our favor. Hector's bombs were ripping through the man, and Yuki was vanishing like a ghost, popping up in one part of the battle or another spontaneously and pausing to cut a man down before vanishing and reappearing in another place. John had his cutlass and was using that odd fighting style of his: using the environment to his advantage and throwing random wild attacks at the enemy to keep them off guard. He was balancing on ropes, bouncing off of railings, whirling down stairs...the kid was crazy! But I knew that I had been just like that when I was his age, so I didn't say anything.

Swift Crow moved off to begin giving help wherever it was needed, while I attended to my fights alone. Eventually, Kip's men began to get pushed back, and finally, John had the point of his cutlass as Kip's throat.

"Alright, game's over. Put down your weapons," John said.

"I'm impressed. A 14-year old pirate was hard enough to believe, but the fact that he took down the crew of the Kraken? Nigh on godlike! I salute you John, and may you and your crew...ROT IN HELL WHEN THE OTHERS AND I CATCH YOU!!!" said Kip, his calm composure finally cracking under the strain of the situation.

"Ah, Kip. You're still bound to your word, so you'll have to leave the glory of catching me just to the 'others'...if they can even catch us!" John said.

Our whole crew let out a cheer.

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