From the onset, I should have known that things wouldn't be easy. Although, they had pushed me into a corner, I should have known that Captain Crimson Eye was not a fool who would send all his vessels to an enemy whose strength he hadn't completely ascertained yet, and not have a backup plan or hidden agenda for it.

But, at the end of the day, it's my fault for expecting less from him. Alas, even though it was fortunate that I was able to get the gist of his plans, that doesn't mean that it meant a thing to me. After all, I didn't need to be branded as a rogue pirate since I already am one.

And as for Captain Silver tongue and the numerous fleets under him...

I knew that my actions over the weeks would have their own consequences. As such, I made sure to mentally prepare myself for whatever might or would come.

And if this is what is coming—

No problem, I might as well not see it as a problem!

I crushed the crumpled letter in my hand, only to smooth it out and read its contents.

'If you're reading this, it means you finally came crawling back to me for assistance after realizing the magnitude of the consequences of your actions.

But alas, it's too late.

By the time you retrieve your lost shadow or create a new one, I—'

I crumpled up the letter again and tossed it aside. One brief look was all it took to realize that this message wasn't intended for me.

And as for what the other half read.... its seems that Captain Crimson Eye has his own issues to deal with also.

Regardless, I gazed at the second-in-command of the Crimson Black Eye crew as he stared back at me in terror. I waited for him to respond, hoping to obtain some answers...

You know what? It seems like I won't be getting any information or response.

Exasperated, I sighed and said, "You know, I've already thought of a way to send Captain packing from the land of the living." My magical energy began to seep out, and I directed it all around the ship. "But, since he's not here, I suppose you wouldn't mind taking his place instead --".

Before I could even finish my sentence, the second-in-command abruptly stood up, charging towards me with a concealed dagger that he had pulled out from his clothes, its blades aimed straight at my neck.

Oh, for goodness sake!

My perception was still on high alert, making his movements appear slow and sluggish. It felt as though I was about to be attacked by a snail from a Pixar animated movie.

"Bam!" I reacted quickly, grabbing him by the collar and causing him to gasp in shock as the impact knocked the wind out of him. My other hand was already firmly grasping the hand that held the dagger.

With a gentle yet firm force, I applied pressure and bent his wrist downwards with a sickening pop that rang in the background.



As his screams echoed across the ship, I watched him writhing in agony, knowing that this was exactly how it was supposed to be. Within a few short seconds, his voice died down, and he stared at me with a defeated gaze, struggling to catch his breath.

"Haaaa… Haaaa…." He gasped, his breathing speeding up as he struggled to speak. "Why?" he finally managed to ask.

I twitched my nose, trying to mask my amusement at his pitiful state. "Why what?" I asked, playing along with his charade.

What can I say, it seems that he was about to go through some self-reflection and maybe mumble a little rubbish before I offer him to death. And I am feeling a little generous before I offer him the kind of death that I had planned for Captain Crimson Eye.

"Why is it that the one woman I love cannot love me back?" He pleaded, his voice laced with desperation. "No matter how hard I try, there is always something in my way…first it was the captain, and now it's you."

He was struggling to free himself from my graps. "Why?" He asked, his frustration palpable.

I shook my head, my disappointment clear. "You had me for a moment, but then you lost me," I replied. It was evident that he was still hopelessly in love, so I couldn't help but inquire, "Which woman are you referring to?" Although I had a hunch, as the only women on the ship since our last encounter were Clara and--

"Annabelle," He interrupted, his voice filled with longing. "Her name is Annabelle, your supposed newly acquired crew member."

I clicked my tongue loudly. If it's Annabelle, then his miserable situation might be understandable.

Still, I responded to his question, "Maybe it's because you are not the kind of man she is looking for." I released my grip and watched as he landed on the ground. Continuing, I said, "And in your next life, if you choose to pursue a woman again, be more like me, a man who is not of this world."

Okay, that was a bit cheesy, but goddamn it was cool!

"You," He blurted out.

I turned around and walked down from the upper deck, my voice trailing behind me.

"Don't worry, I will send your captain to you soon. However, in the meantime, you must suffer the consequences of your sins and iniquities. Your punishment is a direct result of the foolish deed that you and your captain dared to carry out against me."

I abruptly stopped walking and pursed my lips in contemplation.

Before me stood a group of men, each armed with whatever weapon they could grasp. Yet none dared to take a step forward or speak up, frozen in fear and hopelessness like ants before a towering behemoth.

The silence was deafening.

Little did they know, this was merely the beginning, for their ultimate fate would be nothing short of

"The End of Days!"

...a slow, agonizing demise just as I had promised.


"….he what?"

He removed the smoking pipe from his lips and lightly dropped it on the table before exhaling, releasing the remaining smoke trapped in his mouth.

Despite his subordinate confirming the report, he stared at the letter in disbelief.

His subordinate nodded and repeated, "As I have said, Captain, he destroyed Captain Crimson Eye and his fleet, forcing him to run away after coveting the Cryptic Sea for himself. He did the same to Captain Clara Davy and her crewmen, imprisoning her and demeaning her to nothing but a slave on his ship."

He heard it again, but he still couldn't believe it. A grand mix of suspicion and annoyance suddenly welled up within him as he asked, "And how sure are you that it's him?".

It was either a trick, a joke, or someone had decided to take a leap of faith beyond their boundaries and test his patience.

"The letter just arrived at the mage tower this morning. After checking its credibility, it's safe to say that this parchment was specially handed to all the fleets to make it easier to report extreme emergencies." His subordinate paused and then continued, "However, if we were to doubt the authenticity of its contents, that would be the same as doubting Captain Crimson Eye's commitment to the pirate code. Moreover, it would be overlooking the reports in favor of an outsider."

He was right. The lives of the several fleets under his command that were said to have been destroyed by a banished, crippled prince from one of the greatest human empires did not happen frequently enough for it to be swept under the rug.

"I see," He muttered. "So, Prince Wyatt has taken control of the Cryptic Sea and has Captain Davy's daughter in his possession, which means that somehow, the failed prince isn't crippled any longer."

"Yes, Captain," his subordinate nodded. "And in order to proceed with the reports and decide on the actions which we will carry out, your judgement is needed."

One of the things that had led pirates to this height of power was the Pirate Code. This power could not be maintained properly if one of the people they had accepted as their own chose to break the Pirate Code for their own selfish gains.

But placing a bounty on the former first prince would draw attention from the Endossa Empire, from both his enemies and friends. And that was something which he didn't want at the moment, not because he feared them, but because he didn't want to be drawn into the chaotic mess that the palace had become.

The last time he was unexpectedly drawn into the palace, he had a numbing headache just from the scenes he had seen and heard.

He cleared his throat and grunted deeply.

His subordinate called out for his attention once more. "Captain…"

But no matter what, disobedience must be paid back with punishment.

"Send a broadcast to all seven seas. A new bounty has been issued."

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