Unknown - Chapter 20

      Chapter 20

      “Don’t attack us! We hold no treasure!” Shamah’s baritonic voice leaped farther and heavier than the voice sprang from the bearded man before.

      The bearded man slapped the wooden rail of his ship and laughed. “Old man! You are riding on one!” he shouts and turned to his men. “What say ye men? Shall we plunder?!”.

      Cheers of jumbled words erupted around the ship. The crew cheered and raised their swords into the air.

      Shamah’s eyes burned brown flame. “Old man?” he hissed. Edabu held his arm and shook his head. “Not yet”, he curled his power in his hand, losing another chunk of fat in the process. Shamah grits his teeth.

      The old man turned back towards the black ship, face beaming with smiles. His gold tooth glitters under the silver sky.

      “I’m getting that gold” Enil grinned. He hid his cutlass behind him and hunched forward, using Shamah’s big frame as cover.

      Edabu waited for the ship to get closer. The palm he clenched was oily and the air began to create a reaction. Edabu held back, balancing his energy to hold the oil in his palm from burning. Sweats flowed down his forehead as his eyes trailed the ship.

      Kalvel gripped his cutlasses tight behind him. He hunched forward, trying to look weary. The tattoo on his arm pulsated. He winced and grits his teeth as he tried to hold back the jovial feeling swelling up inside him.

      Shamah held his hand behind him. His eyes watched only one target. “So this is a test then, Sazara?” he whispered in his heart as he smiled towards the incoming ship.

      The pirate ship bossed in front of them. Its crews swelled around the ship’s rails and bow cracking their knuckles and waving their swords. Several men with ropes and hooks appeared from behind them. The bearded man smiled with his gold tooth and his battered dark navy shirt waving behind him dancing with the wind. The side wall of the pirate ship thud open, revealing barrels of cannon, all pointing towards the same ship.

      Edabu frowned. “Something’s different” his eyes looked around, trying to find the strange feeling he felt. He looked at Shamah and gave him a weird look. “Why are you smiling?” but the old man said nothing.

      The pirate ship sailed alongside the port wall, nearly scraping the wall with the barrels of their cannons. Hundreds of wry, dirty looking men of various size and belly shapes jumped over the small gap onto the black ship, face turned towards the four man standing weaponless.

      The bearded man slides his way past the men surrounding his prisoner. He smiled. Enil gulped as his belly quenched from the sheer smell coming from the men in front of him. The bearded man looked at Shamah then Edabu before poking his head to Kalvel and finally to Enil. He smiled with a wide eye when he saw Enil’s shoulders jumped up and down, his breathing fast and nervous. He could taste and smell the sweats and the dirts in the crews body and the salty taste from the sea. Enil looked at the man and smiled back. His shoulders stilled and he let out a punch, removing the bearded man’s gold teeth from his mouth. Enil pushed his legs and jumped, hands stretched and palm opened as the gold tooth fell. “Gotcha!” he smiled and landed with his hand stretched.

      Shamah slapped his forehead. Edabu pushed his oily palm to the bearded man’s face as he staggered backwards. “Nar!” his voice caught everyone by surprise. The bearded man shrieked as he tried to rub the oil away from his face but it was already too late. The flame took his beard first before skinning his chin followed by his cheek. Before long the bearded man turned into the flaming man and his body staggered, lifeless. All the bearded man’s crew looked with their eyes wide opened and their jaws dropped to the deck. They stood on their spot, stunned.

      Kalvel stretched out his hands, revealing his cutlasses to the stunned crowd. He sneered and laughed. “Cut them all down!” and he lunged to the man on his right, cutting his jugular. He ducked and slashed at the belly of the man behind the one he struck, spraying intestines all over the deck. Enil lunged and cuts the hand of the man in front of him before slashing his cutlass across his face. Blood smeared his face but he ignored them, focusing instead on taking down the big bald man with chain hooks. He duck down and slashed the man’s archilles tendon sending the man tumbling down like a destroyed tower.

      The crew began to take steps backward. Fear engulfed their eyes and spirit. They began to look at each other, the swords in their hands shook. The anger and bravery in them burned to ashes with the death of their captain and several of their friends. Their eyes turned towards the four people in front of them. Their expression had changed especially the big man with two cutlasses.

      A gust of wind swirled around the ship, forcing the crew to cover their eyes. Edabu waved his hand towards the sails and they rolled before the wind could tear through them as it picks up speed.

      “Charming and commendable, master Shamah” a young male voice broke the wind. He clapped his hands light. The wind around him rose like a still tornado, cushioning his fall. The man’s green robe rages, flapping behind him like a mad flag. The pirates dropped their jaw. Edabu and Shamah blinked continuously through the tornado while Enil and Kalvel held their cutlasses in front of their face. “Break their morale and they will scatter” the man continued.

      “Cut the wind, Sazara” Shamah commanded.

      The young man clapped his hand the wind disappeared. The sea was calm with nothing but the sound of the waves visible. Enil looked at the man standing as tall as Shamah. His face was invisible under his green hood, save for two green glows. His hands were covered with leather gloves. The green robe was battered and darkened, its edges gritted by time and weather. The old leather boots he wore, dusty and cracked, thumped on the wooden deck.

      “Master Shamah” the man in the green robe bowed to Shamah. “How was the magic I taught you before?” but the old man rolled his eyes. “Used it to catch up with this prick” he points his pump thumb to Edabu next to him. “Ah, and young Edabu, the proprietor of this charming band of interesting people” his voice beckoned as if he was smiling underneath that hood. The pirate crew behind him stood still like statuettes, swords still in their hands looking unsure. “Let’s tidy things a bit, shall we?” Sazara spread is arms out and pushed it upwards. The wind behind him picked up speed and lifted the crews from their feet. Screams and shrieks billowed from the men as they tried to balance their tumbling self. Some dropped their cutlasses and begged for the lives, others just screamed without tomorrow.

      “You all are getting noisy, so up you go” Sazara pushed his hands upward until they met above his head. In mere seconds, the screams and shrieks and the crew themselves are gone, thrown into the graying sky. Enil watched with chuckle and Kalvel grinned. Edabu’s eyes trailed the flying man until they disappeared behind the clouds. Shamah stared at the man in the green robe not amused by what he had done.

      “You do realize we have an empty ship sitting next to us with its cannons pointing directly at our hull, right?” Shamah jeered to the man.

      “That is an easy clean up” the man turned around held his palm towards the ship. “But before that, young Enil and mister Kalvel, could you please fetch all the cannons from the ship please?”. His words made Enil and Kalvel blinked. They looked at each other and then back to the man, nodding.

      Enil shot a look at Edabu as he past him. “How did he know my name?” he whispered without waiting for the answer.

      Kalvel and Enil scrambled into the ship’s hold and pulled out their first iron cannon. They pushed it towards the ship’s side. “How do we get this thing across?!” they looked at the man in the green robe.

      “Gather them all there, I’ll do the rest” Sazara shouts back his finger points to a spot at the edge of the empty ship. Enil and Kalvel looked at each other and heads back into the hull of the ship. The second and third cannon emerged from the hold followed by a fourth.

      Enil shot past the door into the hold. It was dark and damp and dank inside the ship so much that he had to hold his breath and breathed from his mouth. “God this ship stinks…” he complained as he reached the quarters where the cannons were placed. Kalvel had detached the chains to the cannons and was pushing one of them out. Enil grabbed hold of the side of the cannon and helped Kalvel pushed the cannon out to the deck. Sweats had drenched their clothes by the time the ninth cannons emerged onto the deck. “How many of this thing’s in there?” Enil shouts to the man in the green robe.

      “Not much, twelve or fifteen maybe!” Sazara shouts back.

      Enil rolled his eyes. “Twelve or fifteen?” his hands were already trembling and his veins popped from his skin, aching from overusing. He sighed and heads back into the hold. Kalvel emerged from the hold with a cannon in front of him. “Think of it as your training session, kid” he joked. Enil grumbled and disappear into the hold.

      “So how long have you been following these kids?” said Shamah looking at the empty ocean in front of him. 

      Sazara turned to face him.“Since the very beginning” he said simple. Another cannon rolled to the deck behind him.

      “Which beginning? The journey or before that”

      “Before that, I saw everything and know of the Unknown who attacked them”

      “A powerful Unknown” Edabu spoke. He looked at Sazara.

      “Yes, a powerful Unknown indeed but not quite as powerful as the generals of the old. Though the one that attacked you is also a general” he crossed his hands across his chest. Another cannon emerged from the hold behind him.

      “That bear Unknown is a general?” Edabu frowned.

      “Well, yes, most Unknown that can communicate verbally are generals. The lower ranks don’t communicate they only eat and follow orders”.

      “What are they? These Unknowns you are talking about” Alen emerged behind Edabu. Colors had come back to his face. Sazara looked at him. “Young Alen, the seal bearer” he gave a little bow of his head.

      “Hey! It's finished!” Enil shouts from the empty pirate ship. Fifteen cannons sat in front of him, some to their side.

      Sazara lowered his arms. “I’m sorry, young Alen, but we’ll talk about it later” and he turned towards the empty ship. “Okay, you can jump back now” and gestured for Kalvel and Enil to head back to the ship. “The weather today will be a bit windy and cold” and the man spread his arms as Enil and Kalvel ran past him. Shamah sighed. “Here we go again...” he grumbled alone.

      Sazara pulled his left hand closer. A blast of wind swept the empty ship from its front. The sheer power stamped the sails on the ship’s mast and the ship almost toppled to its back when Sazara pulled his right arm and a powerful blast of wind came from the opposite direction, slamming the ship’s bow back to the sea. Walls of sea water jumped into the air and splash itself into the deck of the black ship. Sazara ignored the water and pressed his hands together in front of him. The wind focused into a single vent. Sounds of wood cracking and the high pitch of the air compressed filled the air. Sazara grits his teeth. His hands trembled.

      “Vento” he whispered and the wind rose to the pirate ship’s deck. Sazara moved his clasped hands towards the pool of cannons and watch as the one by one the cannon floats into the air. The green glow underneath the hood flares. Sazara moves backward and the pressurized wind moves with him.

      Enil looked around the ship. “Magic wind...” his voice awed while his eyes flew to follow the cannon arcing in they sky.

      The sail on the ship stilled and the rocking had stopped.

      Sazara moves his hands down and placed the cannons gently onto the wooden deck. He let out a breath and clenched his hands into fists. The wind swirled into the air and disappeared. “That was heavy” he sighed.

      “Hey Sazara!” Shamah called out. The Wind Guardian turned around. “What about that ship?” the square face man shouts again, pointing at the empty pirate ship.

      Sazara walked back towards the side edge of the ship and held a finger towards the pirate ship. A sharp piercing sound travelled through the air and with a horizontal wave of his finger, the ocean bubbled and the ship slowly fell into the bottomless green water.

      “Done” said the Wind Guardian.