Chapter 15: Storeroom
Upon boarding the enemy’s ship while undercover, Zhang suggested for them, the sailors, to break up into small squads and clear the ship. They pretended to help the men in black carry things back onto the ship and had to make their move soon before the enemies found the corpses in the mess hall.
The men in black brought a large portion of the trio’s things onto the ship beforehand and were now busy stacking things on the ship.
The ship they boarded was much smaller than the ship they previously were traveling on. This one was only roughly one third the size of the other ship.
Jian Wei and a few of his men were tasked with keeping guard above deck on the ship and made sure to inform the others if anything happened. While the sailors were to sweep the entire enemy boarded on ship and stealthily silence everyone.
Once the ship was completely taken over, they would cut all of the ropes that kept the ship bounded together, free the ship, allowing them to escape. This was of course after they somehow set fire to the three other enemy’s ships and the large ship they were on before.
But the real question was, if they could escape the six other enemy ships that had stayed a short distance away. Particularly, a very large ship that was the farthest away from them. This ship was twice as big as the ship they had just taken over and was most likely the enemy’s flagship. The large ship had hundreds of oars poking out from its side and would most likely be able to catch up to them once they fled. On top of the massive sail of the ship hung a black flag with a skull and crossbones.
Zhang had broken off from the group along with Yuying and Ai. They were currently headed toward the storage room of the ship. Zhang’s goal being to get his two canteens of corrosive poison. Although he didn’t hope they would work but they most likely would come in handy during the escape.
Everyone who had ran into the trio was almost instantly killed. Zhang had given Yuying a dagger just like his, made of the other fang of the Voracious Eater. She was able to skillfully use it and quickly ended the lives of many unfortunate people who ran into her.
“Damn maybe we shouldn’t have killed all of those guys, at least after they tell us where the storage room on this ship is.”, Zhang said with a sigh.
“Brother come here I’ll show you something.”, Yuying said as she gestured him to come toward her. Beside her was the corpse of a pirate.
Once Zhang walked up to her, Yuying placed her hand on the corpse's forehead. Then strange runes appeared and covered her hand. The runes danced about on her own skin and then shot straight into the corpse.
Once all the runes disappeared from Yuying’s hand, they appeared on the corpse. The corpse suddenly started jolting and then it’s eyes opened to reveal blank white pupils.
“Stand.”, Yuying commanded.
As soon as the words left her mouth the corpse got onto its feet and stood.
“Now lead us to the storeroom.”
Again, the corpse responded to Yuying’s order and began walking.
“Impressed brother? Hehe”, she said with a laugh.
Zhang became kind of distracted as he intently watched her smile. However, after a couple moments he was able to snap out of it and ask her, “What exactly did you do?”
“Simple, I used a technique I learned in the underworld, called “Reanimation.” This technique lets me send essence into someone who had recently died and reactivate their body. Once someone dies, their soul passes on into the Underworld however, their body still retains a bit of their intelligence. I’m able to reactivate the body and command it to do my bidding. I could use this on living people also but to a lesser extent but we shouldn’t rely on it because the technique isn’t meant for someone only at the 4th level in terms of essence to us. If one wasn’t mindful, they’d end up sapping themselves of energy and might die.”, she explained.
Zhang although was intrigued did not ask anymore. This was because it currently was not the time nor place to be comparing notes on this technique or that technique. They were currently on an enemy ship and could be found out and attacked at a moment’s notice.
The corpse stumbled its way to the storeroom as the trio trailed behind it. The corpse had lead them to an iron door that was bolted into the walls of the ship.
Zhang reached his hand and pulled on the door handle but it was locked. One would need the key to the room to access it. However, Zhang had another means of entering. He pulled out a vial in his sleeve and dripped a few drops of Lightning Eater’s poison into the lock.
Once the drops entered the lock, a fizzing sound could be heard and smoke could be seen floating out of the lock.
Moments later, the door creaked open. Ai grabbed the handle and opened the door. The inside of the storeroom was filled with chests of all shapes and sizes. This was somewhat odd being that this was not the flagship of the pirates, so they shouldn’t have many things besides the stuff they had just looted.
Zhang reached his hand and opened a large chest by the entrance. Countless shimmering golden coins filled the chest to the brim. As he opened a larger chest he found that they were all filled with gold coins. Upon closer inspection Zhang found that all of these coins were from an area on the southern peninsula of the Wulin continent.
This place was known as the land of Warring States. Taking up the entire southern peninsula of the continent and a broad area above it the Warring States took up roughly one tenth of the entire continent. This area was made up of hundreds of duchies and city states that each had their own ruler. Although this area was split into small ruling powers no empire or kingdom had ever been able to take over or control this area. This was because each time an army was assembled to invade, all of the small ruling powers would band together and repel the incoming invaders.
That being said the ownership of land in this area still constantly shifted from one person to the next. Rulers would be challenged and replaced or one state would conquer another. The rulers of the states did not bother with internal struggles only when invaders from other kingdoms intervened.
Each portion of the land although divided when it came to rulers, used the same type of currency. And all of the gold coins in the chests had the symbol of the Warring States, an eagle carrying a sword with its talons. This was to represent that there is always someone looking to seize power in the area.
“Brother, sister look!”, Ai yelled at Zhang.
In her hand was a small chest and inside the small chest was four rings. The rings all looked somewhat the same with many etchings on.
“Those are interspatial rings!!! Just what we needed.”, Zhang exclaimed. With these rings they would be able to store away all of their things and not have to carry loads of stuff while traveling. Ai handed Zhang and Yuying each a ring and put one ring on her finger and put the box with the extra ring inside her interspatial ring. They only needed three rings one for each person and the extra ring they’d most likely sell.
Interspatial rings fetched high price if sold on the market. Usually, however even if one had the money there was a chance they could not even find a ring to purchase. These rings were rare and the method to make them had long been lost.
Finding the rings on this ship was extremely odd how could pirates come into possession of such pricey things and not even store them on their flag ship?
After putting on the rings Zhang dripped a drop of his blood onto it and binded it. The ring was now his and no one else but him can access the things inside without him unbinding the ring first. Then with a swept of his hand all of the large treasure chests he had touched before were sucked inside the ring. Then one by one he began storing the smaller boxes and chests. And finally Zhang stored away the things that were taken from the raft.
After he stored everything away, it was time to go back to the upper deck and meet up with the sailors. As they made their way up, the trio did not meet any enemies. However, when they reached the upper decks they stumbled upon a horrific scene.
The sailors along with Jian Wei and Yan Li were surrounded and had their backs to the entrance to the lower deck. More than half of them laid on the ground covered in blood either dead or dying.
Only around fifteen sailors including Jian Wei and Yan Li were still left standing. Whereas in front of them stood roughly a hundred pirates with weapons ready to draw blood. Jian Wei’s face was white as paper and blood was dripping off of his fingertips.
“What happened!”, Zhang yelled as he ran on deck.
“They found the bodies of their comrades quicker than we thought and then had everyone confirm that they were their comrades. All of them have a tiger tattoo on one of their arms.”, A sailor told Zhang.
As soon as the man finished his sentence the pirates charged. Seeing this Zhang also moved forward with his blade in hand., Zhang made his way to the closest pirate and plunged his dagger into the man’s neck. And before pulling his dagger out Zhang used his other to work the man’s sword loose from his hand.
Seeing Zhang moved the rest of the sailors charged also, along with Yuying and Ai. If they faltered all that waited them was death. So naturally they, had nothing to lose and fight all out.
Zhang was able to procure another sword and stored his dagger into his interspatial ring. Although the dagger was incredibly sharp compared to the two swords Zhang had obtained, using dual swords had always been his forte.
Like a whirlwind Zhang danced through the mob of pirates. As he passed by, severed limbs were sent flying and blood sprayed in all directions. Zhang was like a bloodthirsty beast that had just been uncaged.
Jian Wei watched as Zhang slaughtered his way through the pirates in awe from the rear.
“Li he might be the one that I’ve been looking for all this time.”, he whispered.
“Yes my lord he might be a fitting successor for you.”, Yan Li replied also in a whisper.
Shortly after, more pirates came over from the other ships and filled the deck of the ship. A man watched the battle from the crow’s nest of another ship and pulled out a flare from his pocket.
A red flare could be seen in the sky. After this flare was shot two more blue flares were shot from the pirate flag ship. Once those two blue flares were shot two of the ships that had been waiting from afar moved toward where Zhang and the sailors were.
Soon those two ships reached the ship Zhang was on and started tossing grapple hooks over and roped their ships in. Then the pirates on those two ships began boarding also.
“Retreat to the lower decks!!! We can’t fight them all at once!”, Zhang yelled.
The sailors had long ago fallen under Zhang’s charisma and had followed his orders without question. Only ten or so sailors were left that was including Jian Wei and Yan Li. One by one they started running down the stairs to the lower floors.
If battle was to break out in the lower decks it would be much more manageable than on the upper decks. This was because the hallways only allowed for roughly two or three people to stand side by side. So at most they’d only have to fight three pirates at one time. Rather than fighting pirates from multiple directions.
The sailors had found a small room to hole up in the lower deck. Thanks to this, they’d only have to face one pirate at a time. Giving them an advantage because some of the sailors had spears, whereas all the pirates used only swords.
“You all stay in here I will go out and stretch a bit.”, Zhang said as he rushed out of the doorway slashing wildly.
In such a small space no one was his match. Zhang was most adept at facing many enemies at once. Adding to that, was the ability to use the small spaces to his advantage. When one person attacked him he agilely moves close to another enemy. This caused his foes to waiver because they did not wish to hit their comrades which would give Zhang time to dispatch them and their comrade one after another.
Using both swords in his hand he did not waste any of his movements. Every swung cut flesh, and every lunge pierced skin.
To the pirates Zhang was a grim reaper who crawled from the depths of hell to claim their lives. Well in part, what they thought was true. Zhang did indeed crawl back to the world of the living from hell.
Everything was going smoothly until a man with a silver mask walked in the corridor. The masked man had long flowing black hair and pitch black battle armor on.
“You are sure dressed odd for a pirate.”, Zhang laughed.
“Hmph don’t group me with those lowlifes. I’m part of the order of the blue moon. I was hired to return back a certain man’s head and present it to my employer. Now move out of the way and I just might let you live.”, the masked man said.
“If you want the old man’s life then don’t even think about it! I owe him for letting me aboard his ship and that is a favor I must pay back.”, Zhang said as he charged toward the man.
Swinging both of his swords horizontally Zhang wanted to bisect the man in two. However, to Zhang’s amazement the masked man’s sword cut Zhang’s two swords into halves.
Tossing the two swords to the ground, Zhang pulled out his vial of corrosive poison and tossed it at the man.
Seeing the strange vial, the man instinctively dodged but when he was in close proximity with the man Zhang released his essence which made the vial to hold the poison. Once the vial disappeared the poison splashed everywhere.
Some of it landed on the man’s armor while some landed on his mask. Oddly only his mask started corroding but not his armor. The man quickly took off his mask and tossed it to the ground where it melted beyond recognition. The armor the man wore despite being splashed with the poison stayed in perfect condition.
“What the fuck was that? You brat you're looking to die!!!”, the man screamed as he glared at Zhang.
“Looks like I’ll have to use that.” Zhang thought to himself as he once more charged at the masked man.
The masked man also charged at Zhang. When the two was in reaching distance of each other the man lunged his sword looking to pierce Zhang’s heart. Seeing this, Zhang moved to the side. But he was not quick enough and the man’s sword pierced his shoulder.
But taking this chance where the man would not be able to use his sword Zhang reached out his hand and struck the man with his palm. In his palm was a tiny black flame. Once the black fire touched the man his face fell ashen.
“Wha what did you do to me!!”, the man screamed as he felt his consciousness fade and after a few moment his body like many others before him, slumped to the ground and became lifeless.
Zhang winced as he pulled out the sword lunged in his shoulder.
Afterwards, not wasting anytime, Zhang quickly took off the man’s armor and donned it. He also took the man’s sword and tied it to his waist.
Once the armor was donned Zhang began his killing spree again.