“One-hundred and twenty-seven… No wait, a few years back, they added a new island. Hmmm, Levi, stop playing with my butt and pay attention! Your education is important! Ahem~, this is a map of The Southern Islands! See there in the middle, that’s Hua Jiang Palace. Almost right on top of that, is the biggest and most densely populated landmass… Hua Qiang Island. The northern end is where the Capital is, the place we originally boarded the Titanic Fury. Look, on the westernmost edge is the second largest island. It’s covered with dozens of giant active volcanoes. That’s where the Li Sect is based, but they also control thirty of the surrounding islands. To the absolute south is Pao Pao Island. The temperature there is chilly in the summer and terrifyingly cold in the winter. Actually, although I’ve never been down there before, I’ve heard that all fifty southernmost islands transform into a massive frozen continent during the harsher winters.”
When Mei finished speaking, I stopped massaging her ass and asked “So~, you’re just going to totally gloss over what happened yesterday?”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about~…” She continued laying on the floor and turning the pages of her old, worn-out, handwritten textbook. After a few seconds, she pointed towards the giant leather map that was laid out on her left and said “See this place right here? That’s Silver Moon Island… It isn’t very large, but they have several Heavenly Silver mines.”
“And that’s where we’re headed, huh… So, are you actually going to participate in this battle or are you planning on sleeping through this one too?”
She frowned, then stood up and shouted “Of course I’ll be fighting! Levi, you might not be able to understand this, since you’ve only been in this country for less than a year… But I’ve been here my whole life. The Southern Islands are my home! Any evil bastards who try to invade my home are gonna find out why they call me the Shark Princess!”
As I gazed up at her perky breasts and fluffy pubic mound, I casually asked “Because you’re a princess and you have vaguely shark-like properties… Oh and you also fuck sharks?”
“No! Bad Levi! Ugh, wait a second, how did you… Anyway! The Silver Sword Sect is a small branch of a much bigger organization in Xian Dao, specifically the Qing Republic. A couple hundred years ago, the Rong Clan bought Silver Moon Island and started their mining operations. So it isn’t very surprising that they would betray us… From what I’ve heard from Vice-Captain Jing, nearly ten second-rate Factions have defected to outside forces.”
Hua Ri Jing was a level-nine Adept, and Captain Li’s ‘main’ wife. Coincidentally, she was also Mei’s aunt. Seriously, practically everyone was related to each other in one way or another.
Back when Hua Jiang ‘bonded’ with a certain Rank-A Enteroctopus and unified the Southern Islands… She ‘mysteriously’ laid a couple dozen clutches of eggs. They hatched into Human babies because, magic? I don’t know the fucking science behind how that nonsense worked out, but I just heard the story from my history teacher Mama Mei. After those kids grew up, they were all really beefy and had ridiculously large statures. They were genetically predisposed to becoming giants and they interbred with all the various ancient Clans within the Southern Islands.
Being enormous was a sign of power, for obvious reasons. Also, polygamy was pretty common. The main purpose for a man to have a harem was in order to create as many offspring as physically possible. After hundreds of years of that kind of shit, obviously everyone would be related in one way or another.
Mei placed her hands on her hips and confidently told me “People called me the Shark Princess because I fought in the Battle of Hai Dong Reef a few years ago… My older brother and both my parents died, but Steve and I were able to finish off the Yellowtail Pirates’ fleet.”
I sighed, muttering “If you aren’t making shit up again, then that’s actually pretty badass.”
She pulled out an old tome from her luggage and yelled “I’m not lying! Look, this is my copy of the Historical Records of Hua Ri Island! See, Hua Jiang Year 485, The Battle of Hai Dong Reef! The Shark Princess, Hua Ri Mei, along with her Beast Companion Steven the Megalodon, charged into the Yellowtail Pirates’ left flank… Along with, blablabla, it was mostly because of us that we managed to win that fight!”
After reading the page, I retorted “It says that there were like three other Rank-D Beasts aside from your fuckbuddy…”
“Well, we did most of the work and that’s all that matters!” Mei threw the book back into the suitcase and sat down cross-legged across from me, with the map in between us.
The distance from our current position to Silver Moon Island was about four hundred miles. Now, that would be a really fucking difficult journey if you were walking through the woods, but the Titanic Fury could make the trip in two-days with only the sails. At least, that would be under the condition that we didn’t have any ‘distractions’.
Unfortunately, unlike on Earth, there were all sorts of giant sea monsters lurking about. The number of Rank-D Aquatic Beasts in the Southern Islands region was totally outrageous. Xian Dao was roughly three-million square miles of land, or twenty-five hundred miles horizontally from one end to the other. In contrast, those scattered little chunks of land to the south might seem kind of insignificant… However, if you rode a ship in a circle around the entire Southern Islands, you would have to travel about thirty-thousand miles.
Yeah, it doesn’t seem so tiny now, does it? It was an area significantly larger than the entire Continent of Xian Dao. There were pirates that had pretty big fleets, along with roaming Rank-C Beasts that would randomly attack for no apparent reason.
Once Beasts reached ‘B’ or ‘A’ Rank, they didn’t bother attacking people or other Beasts anymore. They still needed to eat to a certain extent, but they wouldn’t gain anything from devouring or killing creatures that were too far below them in power.
The moral of the story is that we had to go in an awkward zig-zag pattern for an entire week, avoiding weird magical phenomenon like: a gigantic sentient whirlpool that liked to chase boats, a hurricane that never moved, a hundred meter tall tidal wave, fog that was filled with flying poisonous frogs, and two dog-shaped mountains that had been fighting each other for a thousand years. We never actually approached any of that stuff though, because it was clearly designated on plenty of maps.
As much as I’m sure you would love for me to skip to the hardcore, super-awesome battles… Some important stuff happened on our way there and it would be kind of detrimental to the plot if I just ignored everything and constantly had crazy, unnecessary fights every time someone insulted my clothing or stature.
I mean, it’s not like people didn’t make fun of me after all. Although my status as a Shaman might have made people respect me to a certain degree, they still looked down on me. Killing an Expert would normally be impressive, but most of the crew attributed it to my ‘fire-sticks’. They had never used a gun before, so they had no idea how difficult it was to accurately shoot someone when one of your eyes had just been obliterated. For fuck’s sake, I was suffering from severe brain damage at the time that I made those three shots!
Oh well, it’s not like arguing with them would have made a difference. Plus, it’s not like they were physically or verbally abusing me. For example, when I went to the cafeteria each day to get meals for Mei and me, the server Jacob Stash would give us extra food. He was a huge chubby middle-aged guy who was only a level-nine Novice, but he always said things like “Hohoho~, you’re a growing boy, so make sure to eat your vegetables so you’ll get strong one day!” or “Ignore those old farts! They’re only jealous of your potential! Here, I snuck in some Rank-F salmon roe onto your sushi… Don’t worry, you don’t need to pay extra, just be careful out there kid.”
Then there was Granny Arin, who was from the same island as Liara. Even though she was a two-hundred and thirty year old woman, she was still beefy as hell and a level-five Adept. She was even more ‘ravenous’ than my friend. There were several occasions when I accidentally walked in on her getting gangbanged by the newbies. Yeah, she wasn’t as picky as Liara and actually seemed to prefer Novices and Apprentices over Adepts. Anyway, she totally tried to seduce me a bunch of times. While her toothless, cum-covered smiled was cute in a way, I politely declined her offers.
I only left the room a few times per day though and Mei was a total shut-in. She seriously hated being around people, especially crowds. In my last life I had been the same way, but in the new one… I was starting to get used to it and kind of enjoy the noise. The stench wasn’t so great, but the overall ambiance of a fully staffed and crewed ship was kind of nice… While it lasted.