It’ll be great if this enormous journey is continued, so don’t shy away from taking the next chapter (Miss A, I’m looking at you, yes I am) I hope that this continuation of yesterday’s chapter works well enough for whatever is to come!
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We took cover in the wheelhouse, fearing the bombarded sea might rise to drown us if the fire didn’t burn through the metal and destroy the ship first. The attack had been quick, but everything quaked, or so it seemed as we subdued to the sensation of full mayhem; the Jezebel groaned, floating unstable and we so did we, clutching to each other for support. Jezebel herself roared wildly and pushed away her servant at the wheel and flexed her muscles to steer the thing straight. The strenuous expression grotesquely covering her beautiful features spoke that something was wrong and Zedekiah jumped to his feet, helping her unjam the stuck wheel.
Before I could join in their effort a sudden pull halted me at my step. As if a stronger feeling than self-preservation took over me – there was no fear, there had never been. Only an ultimate invincibility and the means to perform its miraculous effect on myself. A familiar throb pulsated at my temples, but this time the pure light that blinded the periphery of my vision and threatened a quick-tempered reaction spread throughout my entire body, engaging the same brutal fury as before, but with a purpose. I turned around and ran back outside neglecting Zedekiah’s choked shouts and curses.
The Jezebel was intact. Whatever mass had shaken her so vigorously had seemingly done so only to disturb her course and slow us down. But there was fire somewhere, an intense blaze that warmed the air to humidity and I smelled it through my flared nostrils. I looked over my shoulder and saw that the enormous fleet following us so closely had been half-submerged if not engulfed in flames; they had been cut off from us, dangerously far now. We floated ahead alone.
And something floated towards us. Its presence, even though yet unknown, was certain and I walked cautious to the ship’s bow, watching, waiting. Above my head, Jezebel’s sphinx flag flapped restless against the light wind. Then it stopped and slumped on its pole.
I looked down, catching my shadow briefly looming along with me. The sea surface vibrated gently, but I couldn’t hear the splash of water, a sound that had become a constant companion, as familiar as my own heartbeat. The murky waters stirred heavily, ruptures growing in size and density. The gloom dispersed, blurred shapes coalescing into shapes, then one shape, then a full visage of a long and narrow giant carved from the whitest material and carrying the harshest carven godlike creatures along its front. It was a single mast ship, but thrice the size of the Zebedee and twice that of the Jezebel.
As it came into full view, the powerful chant sounded again, a call made in unison, as the ship sluiced its oars, oars?, I thought confused at the sight, with perfect synchronicity. I near shuddered as this ancient giant was stranger than anything I had ever seen. It was so quiet, as if prowling. The ships flag showed a sort of palace engulfed in flames and I tilted my head to read the single line below it, but the wind which blew their mainsail with tremendous power, and yet it moved not, stellar in its own waters, prevented me from doing so.
It came straight for us and I took a small step back thinking it’ll collide with our ship, but then I looked closely and saw the vessel wasn’t moving anymore, like it had ceased its sail almost immediately. That or we had come upon it and I was given the illusion it had swam for us. The Jezebel had straightened and slowed down to its own halt, and Jezebel and Zedekiah walked panting out, joining me at the front.
“Lord,” Zedekiah murmured through clenched teeth and I nearly sniggered when he drew an invisible sign across his forehead and chest. The man wasn’t superstitious, but he was no fool either; the need to protect oneself was alerted within me too. I heard Jezebel gasp as she found her fleet abandoned and destroyed, but she too couldn’t do them no help, or honor, or both, as the threat before us was bigger.
There were men aligned along its beam, darkly clothed tall figures with silver masks concealing their faces. The only thing I saw was the color of their unblinking eyes – a clear cerulean, piercing and dead.
“What be that you want?” Zedekiah shouted inside the silence, but the men of the ghost ship didn’t speak a word. The one at the front of their navy row raised his hand clutching a curved silver sword and commanded the same Ur Ah! I had heard earlier. As he did so, our ship was invaded as masked men climbed inside, dripping water and shaking off mist at our deck. They produced their own silver weapons, aiming sharp ends at our throats. I grinded my teeth and a sharp spark flamed inside of me. I could see the dust of Luna floating undisturbed around their heads, charging the air with unseen electricity I could almost touch and direct. I wanted to. I squeezed my eyes shut for a brief, suppressing the want to evaporate everything and everyone.
From the enemy’s ship a rope was swung and it hooked with a metal cling to the rail of the Jezebel. Five rogues descended swiftly to our ship and one came forth. The silver of the mask was etched into his face as I saw skin, bone and material mended to create one expressionless look.
“King Abraham of Siddim.”
It was all he said, not as a question, but as a statement, waiting for me to maybe confirm it. All I could think of was the blinding fury wanting release. All I could feel was the electricity touching ground and creating fire. All I could see were their lives ceasing in the wake of my power growing and forming fully.
I took a deep breath.
Next: Chapter 11, “Governed by Time“