TSKD 258

Note: This chapter is done in a more professional style. Check the announcement post for more details.

No Rest For the Weary

Fran and I navigated our way through the ship’s interior, only to eventually stop ourselves in front of an average-looking wall. Nothing about it seemed out of the ordinary, but we were confident that it served as the entrance to the room that contained the device bolstering the water dragon’s defenses. Suarez gave us a fairly thorough description when we asked him where we needed to go find it.

We investigated the wall by knocking on it a few times and confirmed that the space behind it did indeed seem hollowed out. The prince told us exactly what we needed to do to access the room, and I’d memorized all the necessary steps, but we decided to circumvent the prince’s ritual through the use of brute force. The method described to us was far too complex; we simply didn’t want to bother with it.

“Fmph.”

Fran swung me several times and filled the wall with incisions before giving it a light kick.

The cuts themselves were so clean that they allowed the wooden surface to retain its form, but the force she applied with her foot caused the now-unstable structure to collapse. The first thing we did as we stepped into the room was gaze upon the device within. I couldn’t help but immediately think of the thing we saw as the product of eccentricity. I’d only ever seen one other device like it. It was a technological oddity, one made from the union of magic and machinery, a pair of clashing concepts.

The magical part, the device’s core, was comprised of two smaller pieces: a giant crystal, and the sculpture that supported it. Though the crystal shone like a jewel, my eyes were more drawn to its base, a delicately crafted carving seemingly made out of bone.

The mechanical part, the device’s shell, was installed to enclose both the crystalline core and the support that held it in place. Its shape almost seemed to resemble that of a sports car’s engine; metallic pipes protruded from it like mufflers.

All in all, the strange device looked like it came out of a game that mixed steampunk elements with more fantastical ones. In other words, it appeared to be the type of device one would discover in F*inal F*ntasy, as opposed to something one would stumble across while playing Dr*gon Qu*st. Like the Algieba’s propulsion device, it reminded me very much of heavy machinery even though I knew its functions were derived from a set of magical principles as opposed to the laws of physics.

“Mmph.” Fran grunted as she felt a sudden wave of magical energy pulse through her body.

“Holy crap that thing’s using up a ton of mana,” I thought.

The room was constructed in such a way that magical energy wouldn’t escape it. We weren’t able to feel the sheer amount of magical energy whirling around within it until we entered. The device was clearly very powerful; it would’ve been easy to detect had the room not been manaproofed.

Wait. What if we just took it instead? Destroying it seems like it would be a waste of a perfectly good item. The water dragon would lose its buff even if I just shove it into my dimensional storage. There really isn’t any reason not to take it, is there?

I settled on the idea of stealing the device, but decided to save working out the details for later.

“I’m going to want to jack this thing a bit later, but let’s just drop a beacon and head back up to the deck for now.”

“Nn.” Fran acknowledged my suggestion, turned around, and got ready to leave.

She had originally planned on walking her way back up to the deck, but her plans were thrown off the moment I finished setting up a beacon. The boat suddenly began violently shaking from left to right and back and forth at random.

“Earthquake…?” Fran muttered.

“Probably just feels that way because we’re inside the ship. Something probably happened. Let’s hurry back up to the deck.”

“Nn!” She nodded.

Fran rushed to the deck, darting through the ship’s swaying corridors and dashing up the stairs on her way. The sheer force with which the vessel continued to wobble throughout her journey seemed to indicate a major change in the status quo.

Upon arrival, we expected to see the water dragon flailing about, but we were instead greeted by a sight completely outside our expectations.

“T-The fuck is that!?”

“Big octopus legs?” Fran tilted her head in confusion.

“Wait! Fuck! Those are kraken tentacles!”

“Oh.”

The catkin nodded as she observed the long, thick, wriggling tendrils. Several of the kraken’s feelers had already wrapped themselves around the dragon, binding it and subjecting it to the oversized octopuses’ attacks.

“What!?” I groaned as I caught sight of our ship out of the corner of my eye. “Something totally busted up one of the Algieba’s masts!”

“There you are!” Seeing that she’d emerged from the warship’s interior, Mordred rushed over and filled Fran in on the status quo.

“What happened?” Again, she tilted her head in a questioning manner.

“Well, you see…”

He elaborated on the present state of affairs by describing the events that transpired between when we left and when we returned.

Mordred brought Suarez over to the dragon so he could order it to stand down—exactly as we discussed ahead of time. Unfortunately, the prince had other ideas. Though we hadn’t the intention, Suarez had been concerned that we would execute him once he issued the order, so he told the water dragon that he wanted it to go on a rampage. Mordred immediately attempted to threaten him into rescinding the command, but he refused. No amount of pain or punishment was enough to force the over-dignified royal into submission.

Freed from its fetters, the water dragon loosed a breath attack towards the Algieba. It tore down one of the galleon’s masts and damaged its deck in the process. Our ship was sturdy enough to withstand the hit, but it wouldn’t last for long if the assault continued. Fortunately, and unfortunately, the dragon was attacked by a group of kraken right before it could launch a second projectile.

“Those, kraken?” Fran pointed at the mollusks, her tone filled with curiosity.

“A whole three of them.” Mordred frowned. “I guess you could say they technically saved our skins, but it looks like executing our old plan is out of the question. Let’s hold off on destroying the dragon’s augmentation device for now.”

“Got it.”

As always, Mordred’s judgement was spot on. Water dragons were stronger than kraken—they would almost undoubtedly come out on top given a one versus one scenario—but the difference in strength was not nearly significant enough for the dragons to take on two kraken, let alone three. Our water dragon was currently faring quite well in combat, but only because its defenses had been bolstered. It seemed like it would probably die the moment the device supporting it was deactivated, especially given that it was already in the process of being attacked on all sides.

And if the water dragon died, the kraken would likely set their sights on the Algieba. Preserving it was undoubtedly in our best interest.

“Can’t just kill all?” Fran asked as she stared down all four monsters present.

“I do think we can, but it’s probably not a good idea,” I muttered.

Both types of monsters were highly specialized hunters. The water dragon was highly offensive, and quite dextrous. The kraken had outstanding defenses, and they were known to regenerate. I was confident that we could defeat all four monsters regardless of their specialities so long as we used both Kanna Kamui and Black Lightning Advent, but doing so would leave us exhausted—and that was incredibly short sighted.

The area we were currently in was called the Kraken’s Nest. It was not only possible, but rather likely that kraken would continue attacking us even after we left the water dragon’s immediate vicinity. Draining ourselves was unwise.

“I’d say we should probably try to escape while the water dragon and kraken go at each other,” Mordred suggested.

“Got it. Return to Algieba?”

“Yeah. Could I get you to move us over again? All our men are already standing by on deck and waiting for you.”

Mordred had clearly already considered our options and come to a conclusion prior to our return. Both the sailors and adventurers had been organised so that they would be ready to depart at a moment’s notice.

All the adventurers were present and accounted for, but we had lost a few sailors in the exchange.

It’s kind of unfortunate, but that’s just how these things go, I contemplated. A melee was a type of messy skirmish. It just wasn’t possible for everyone that participated in it to come out alive.

Putting the relatively depressing thought aside, I opened a Dimension Gate so the survivors could make their way back to the Algieba.

To be honest, I was disappointed. I really wanted to kill the water dragon. I wanted both its core and the materials we could loot off its corpse. I also really wanted to steal the device that bolstered its defenses, but it looked like I would have to give it all up. Fran’s safety was much more important than any amount of material gain.

All the sailors and adventurers, Mordred aside, left through the portal, leaving Fran and the B ranker as the last two individuals remaining on the enemy’s ship.

“Give me a second,” he commanded. “I’ll cast a spell to make it harder for them to chase us down.”

“Doing what?”

“I can’t do too much against monsters this strong, but I should at least be able to lock them down a bit.”

Mordred pulled an elixir out from one of his pockets and swallowed its contents in a single gulp. I appraised the strange liquid and identified it as an item that drastically increased both one’s proficiency in lava magic and overall magical prowess for several minutes.

“There goes a whole year’s worth of income,” the B ranker grumbled.

“That expensive?”

“Yeah, but it’s worth it. It’s extremely effective and doesn’t have any side effects.”

Wait, just how much does a B ranker make in a year anyways? Hmm… Probably somewhere around three million a year, I guess? Wait, that potion costs three whole million? Shit! Though I guess it does kind of seem like it’d be worth it…

Consuming the potion had boosted Mordred’s magical powers by a factor of five. He promptly took advantage of his strengthened abilities and cast a spell.

“Vulcan’s Order!”

The warship’s two anchors floated over to Mordred from their respective positions. He manipulated the two 10 meter wide lumps of metal, melted them down and merged them to form a single, massive, steel serpent—a feat that would have been impossible had he not consumed an expensive potion.

The massive metallic snake abided his commands. It wrapped itself around both the oversized octopuses and the dragon they were assaulting and bound them as it hardened. Despite their size, the monsters were unable to escape. His spell locked them in place.

“Whew…” He relaxed his shoulders and heaved a sigh. “I’ve strengthened it as much as I could, but it won’t last too long against monsters that powerful. Let’s get out of here.”

“Okay.” Fran grabbed Suarez—who’d been rendered unconscious after refusing to listen to Mordred one too many times—and followed the more experienced adventurer through the portal and back onto the Algieba.

After passing through the gate, she turned around and gave us a bigger picture view of the whole kraken-dragon engagement. Frankly, it looked like a fight between several of the giant monsters you’d often see in P*wer R*ngers.

“Wow.” Fran stared at them as they struggled against one another and their newfound metal bindings.

“Any ship that gets caught up in that is bound to sink,” I mused.

Mordred’s spell denied the water dragon the opportunity to chase us. We would, without a doubt, be able to open up some distance between it and us so we could escape.

“More.”

“Oh god, there’s even more!?” Fran’s statement caused me to panic.

Another Kraken appeared on the water dragon ship’s stern, seemingly attracted by the commotion.

“Man the sails! Full speed ahead, get us the ‘ell out of here immediately!” Jerome yelled.

“Master. There, look.”

“Wher—Oh shit. You have got to be kidding me.”

Only then did I realize that, by “more,” Fran hadn’t been referring to the kraken, but rather, the arrival of another sort of creature, one that looked like it’d come straight out of the realm of nightmares.

“Fran! Get the crew’s attention! Make sure it gets noticed!”

“Nn. Big enemy!” She quietly nodded and voiced her agreement before yelling in a voice loud enough for all the sailors to hear.

“Big…? Ohhhh fuck!”

“The hell is that thing!?”

“You’ve gotta be kidding me!”

“Shit, shit!”

“Oh come on!”

Their eyes widened as they caught sight of the creature she’d directed their attention towards.

“Well, no rest for the weary, I guess,” I grumbled as I examined the monster’s features.

The grotesque critter was one that I recognized on sight, one I highly doubted I’d ever be able to forget.

Its body was covered in a thick layer of reddish, yellow-brown skin. Its head looked very much like that of a sea anemone’s, but, with massive fangs lining the inside of its mouth.

A creature known as a parasite that plagued the ocean and leeched off of its life.

A midgard wyrm.

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60 thoughts on “TSKD 258

  1. Can’t catch a break, right? Anyway, I’d try to keep the water dragon alive! It’d make a great sea protector for a country. Or at least a highly important port city.

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    1. Hmmmm. Maybe. It is a ‘leech’ after all. But it could have been due to the large amounts of water displacement caused by the fight between the behemoths. Maybe it woke him up from his sleep.

      Like

    1. The previous quotation marks were GREAT. Distinctive square quotes that easily differentiate the 『sword’s telepathy』 from 「characters speaking」 from (Fran’s telepathic responses).

      Instead, now EVERYONE SPEAKS THE SAME. Except the sword’s telepathy is in italics but so are his internal thoughts. So now to tell them apart, there’s tons of:

      Fran grunted

      I thought

      Fran acknowledged

      Fran muttered

      She nodded

      Fran tilted her head

      I groaned

      I mused

      Fran’s statement

      Fran stared

      I grumbled

      after every spoken sentence. Because there’s no other indicator of who is speaking, so they’ve added all this noise.

      This is the “more professional style”? A real professional would have told you not to do this.

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      1. >”I’m glad to see you don’t actually read novels.”

        Hrmm. That’s a weird thing to be glad about. Still, I’m happy to make you happy.

        But wait, don’t I actually read novels? I wonder how they handle speech and why I never noticed it before? Let’s pick up the Terry Pratchett novel next to me and turned to a random page.

        said Tiffany
        she said
        said the voice of the Queen
        said the Queen
        said Tiffany

        etc.

        I guess actual professionals just use ‘said’. Because it’s less distracting, and you want the reader to know who is speaking with as little interruption to the flow as possible.

        (Alternatively, you could use distinctive speech, or distinctive quote marks, and get read of ‘said’ entirely…)

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      2. I googled dialogue tags, and the first result contained this passage:

        There are two major sides to the said debate. One side argues that the only dialogue tags necessary are said and asked. (Joe is a believer in said.)

        The other side, mainly composed of middle and high school English teachers around the world argue, “Said is Dead!”

        As a former middle and high school English teacher (although that was over a decade ago), I’m shocked, SHOCKED! (Well not that shocked)

        Said is Dead!? Am I out of touch? …No, it’s the new teachers that are wrong.

        Just to see, I pulled out more books.

        Artemis Fowl, Animorphs, Asimov, and Stephen King use non-said tags.

        Piers Anthony, Terry Goodkind, Heinlein, Mercedes Lackey, and Stephen King just use said. (Mr. King, not having a consistent style, falls into both categories)

        However, it became apparent that was most people _usually_ use…. is nothing. It’s clear from context who is saying what, so said and non-said are both unnecessary. (Except Eoin Colfer who thinks he’s writing Tom Swift)

        Personally I still fall into the favors-said column. But you’re correct that there exist professionally edited published works filled with non-said nonsense.

        (And those professionals are bad at their jobs)

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      3. I must admit I prefered the previous dialogue tags.
        The author isn’t that good in the first place, repeating the same ideas over several paragraph that you just want to skip them (like “for god sake, you already express the exact same thing with different words in the 2 previous paragraphs, we get it so now move forward”).

        Adding sentences that were perfectly transmitted through a symbol only adds to all that “tediousness”.

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  2. standard procedure for hidden object in fantasy
    1. collect all full and detailed information (for real? this is impposible dude)
    2. spent few hours or few days to solve mystery (how can stupid MC there instantly have 300IQ?)
    3. after step 2 you find something not right and postponed it for looking extra key or find new character (hell yeah, got new harem member take your time cuz you got all time in world bla bla bla)
    4. and here you go gate is opened (finally)
    5. EXTRA BONUS your hidden enemy come out and steal after all your bullshit hard work ( Surprise MotheFacka )

    meanwhile in here
    1. listen some bullshit from information source (of course)
    2. confirm there are room beside and do something to pass by force (hell yes)
    3. here you go, enter smoothly, and ready for anything hidden come out cuz your muscle ready after warming up (yea kill any bitch that come out and want steal after all your LITTLE EXERCISE)

    and that our LOLI ways to swing his paw, more efficient and spend less time, oww yea dont forget that bastard sword ways of think > destroy? hah, better to take it and make a profit

    WHAT THE FUCK I like this series

    Liked by 1 person

      1. 😄 is not far away from 😍.
        Hey, found the cat version 😻.

        Little Black Cat 😻 towards Fran.

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  3. Please return to using masters border. It was better to indicate the telepathy by a distinctive mean.
    Also I couldn’t notice any improvement in term of quality, rather it seemed to have become a bit more cumbersome and Fran’s talking less fun.
    sorry to smash your work, but I think you overdid it.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. i think he use improvement based on english novel style where its more clear who is speak and what body language and exspression used by the speaker, they say english people kinda hard to guess simple bold dialogue, some reason i know is because ART OF EXPLANATION itself, im not really know about english novel cuz im not read many and what i read not so interesting

      conclusion is i agree with you

      i think we dont need too professional, web novel not final product so improvement will make more far from what author really want to express and then reduce inner quality of novel. and if what translator improvement really english style, then its not fit with japan novel style where they already rich character personal and other thing (im not really sure how to explain this but i hope you guys know what i mean)

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I think its quite overbearing to translate the novel on high quality english format (tho mostly ones in “english deep” are often I find quite dull). And to think those effort be brought to naught when the manga/anime(?) cuts mostly or more than a half of the novel’s content. XD

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  4. The cuts themselves were so clean that they allowed the wooden surface to retain its form, but the force she applied with her foot caused the now-unstable structure to collapse. The first thing we did as we stepped into the room was gaze upon the device within.

    * Should start a new paragraph between these sentences.

    “Can’t just kill all?” Fran asked as she stared down all four monsters present

    monsters present ⇒ monsters present.

    I do think we can, but it’s probably not a good idea.” I muttered.

    idea.” ⇒ idea,”

    “Give me a second.” He commanded.

    second.” He ⇒ second,” he

    Any ship that gets caught up in that is bound to sink.” I mused.

    sink.” ⇒ sink,”

    “Well, no rest for the weary, I guess.” I grumbled as I examined the monster’s features.

    guess.” ⇒ guess,”

    On the formatting changes, I mostly like it. I do agree with some of the others, though, that the distinctive style of Master’s speech doesn’t quite translate to simple italics, which are more commonly used for thoughts.

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  5. Next thing we know, the Leviathan comes to eat the midgard wyrm, but I highly doubt thats going to happen in the next few chapters.

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  6. Really really do not like the new format. Kind of hate it actually. And looking at the latest chapter, it appears to be a permanent change. So I guess you don’t listen to comments.

    I guess I’ll stop on this chapter. I don’t enjoy the feeling of the new format, so there’s no reason to keep reading it here.

    Like

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