Fran disarmed the two executives she captured before sitting them down so she could interrogate them.
Her goal was of course to get them to divulge the Water Dragon Warship’s secrets.
「How to control dragon?」
One of the execs tried to play dumb, to which Fran reacted by mercilessly stabbing me into his thigh.
「How to control dragon?」
「T-The only ones that can tell you that’ll be the boss and the guys right under him!」
「W-We’re telling the truth! We’re just regular pirates that happened to get raised up through the ranks! They wouldn’t tell the likes of us anything!」
「Tell all known information. Even if insignificant.」
「I-I’ll tell you everything I know, so please, pull your sword out of my leg!」
The pirate that agreed to talk began wailing in a mix of pain and fear as she removed me from his thigh.
His companion, the mage, paled. He realized that he would soon suffer the same fate as the spearman he’d been working with should he refuse to talk. To that end, the small framed caster immediately began spouting off everything he knew, and even went as far as to elaborate on things without us needing to ask.
Though he really didn’t know too many details, he was at least capable of confirming that the dragon simply seemed to obey orders; it wasn’t being controlled through some sort of large scale magic item. That said, it would only really ever listen to the prince, the guy the pirates called their boss.
Asking them about exactly how the prince was controlling the dragon failed to lead to any results. They didn’t even know whether it just recognized him as someone it should listen to, or if it was being manipulated through some other means. In other words, smaller scaled items, skills, and spells were all possibilities we still had to consider.
The most useful thing we got them to do was tell us a bit about the prince. His name was Suarez Sheedran. His was supposedly a brown-skinned hulk of a man with silver-blonde hair adorning his head. He was known for being quite strong; the average adventurer supposedly wouldn’t be able to match him. His main weapon was a massive battleaxe, one he was likely to be carrying around right this moment. Capturing him sounded like it was going to be much easier said than done.
Of course, we also managed to get them to talk about the magical device they were using to strengthen the dragon. Apparently it was quite large, and near the ship’s rear, but as the part of the ship holding it was cut off from the rest, we wouldn’t be able to find it if we just walked around.
Annoyingly enough, neither of the two we captured knew how to get into the cut off section. In fact, they were both oblivious to its precise location. This, of course, stemmed from the fact that the prince didn’t trust them. They, unlike many other executives, hadn’t started off as his followers. They were instead just the former top brass of the pirate brigades that used to occupy the area prior to the prince’s arrival. Though he did trust them enough to allow them to keep their positions, the prince basically never let them in on anything too important.
「W-We’ve told you everything you asked for!」
「S-So please, don’t kill us…!」
「T-Thank you so mguraaaaghh!」
Fran kicked the mage right in the face. The sheer force of the strike sent him spiraling off the ship’s deck.
「D-Didn’t you say you wouldn’t kill us if w-we told you what you wanted!?」
The spearman screamed indignantly as he watched his friend plunge into the sea.
「Didn’t kill. Just dumped in sea because in the way.」
「W-What the fuck is that suppraaaaghghhhh!」
She wasn’t wrong. Fran hadn’t actually killed either of the two men. Instead, she’d just knocked them overboard while also depriving them of their consciousness. Though it was rather likely that they’d die, they could still live if they were lucky, so it would be more accurate to chalk their deaths up to their own inability wake as opposed to attributing them to her. Besides, they were pirates, professional seafaring pests. As far as I was concerned, they were sure to survive.
「Damn Teach, you’re totally merciless!」
「I really love that part of her.」
「It looks like we should take after her example and start doing stuff like that too.」
Fran’s apprentices threw in a few comments as they watched the second man follow the first into the sea. The first two, Miguel and Naria, seemed impressed, whereas the third, Liddick, began making note of her behaviour. Realizing that they’d been watching led me to contemplate whether or not they would benefit from imitating her merciless tendencies. My first instinct was to refute the thought, but then I considered the possibility that they might one day get stabbed in the back and die because they sympathized with a foe. From that, I determined that Fran’s approach would probably be best for them in the long run. Probably.
『A-Anyway, why don’t we go hunt Suarez down?』
We informed all the other adventurers still on the ship’s deck about Suarez so we could have them help us look for him. We hadn’t been able to talk to Mordred’s party directly, as they’d already started invading the ship’s interior, but, we attempted to make up for it by asking everyone else to relay the information to him him if they happened to see him.
I had no idea exactly how strong Suarez was, but there was a chance that, Fran aside, Mordred’s party would be the only ones capable of dealing with him.
「Urushi, search too.」
All the Algieba’s sailors already knew that Urushi was Fran’s familiar, so the chance of him getting attacked by one of our allies mid-search was incredibly low.
『Capture him if you can, but come right back if you think he’s too strong for you, alright?』
With a single word and nothing more, Fran ventured into the ship’s interior through the nearest exit.
Our allies had already taken out most of the pirates within, so we were able to look around without any interference—or at least that was how it went until we went down a flight of stairs.
Enemies began attacking us the moment we descended, and continued to do so as we explored. Not a single one of them was anywhere close to being Fran’s match, but they were still quite annoying nonetheless.
A dense aura of battlelust began to assault us as we moved a bit further along. It seemed we’d found our mark.
Fran traced it to a remarkably large door, which she kicked down to reveal something along the lines of an empty warehouse.
Several adventurers and pirates were facing off against each other in the room’s center. The bloodlust Fran had tracked down had originated from the two most powerful people in the room.
One was our ally, Mordred. And naturally, the other was Suarez, the pirate we’d been looking to capture.
The Sheedran prince was honestly quite strong. He had Divine Bow Arts, and several other skills indicated he was obviously an accomplished warrior. But, despite that, I didn’t find him to be qualified enough to function as the captain of a pirate ship. He lacked too much in the boatmanship department for me to really think him a sailor.
Unfortunately, appraising him didn’t tell me much about how he was controlling the dragon. None of his skills indicated that he was capable of taming or summoning monsters.
「You’re idiots, retards! Did you really think you could defeat a Water Dragon Warship?」
「It’s true that your ship is strong, probably the strongest there is, but that doesn’t mean shit if we can just take the people aboard it.」
「Gyahahaha! Nice joke! I’ll torture you even more than all my usual prey before feeding you to the fishes!」
So he likes torturing the people he captures? That’s pretty low…
The two combatants engaged as I pondered the prince’s distasteful hobbies.
Suarez swung his battleaxe straight at the crown of Mordred’s head. His attack had quite the speed to it; he looked to be at least as strong as a C ranked adventurer.
But despite that, we weren’t even the slightest bit concerned.
「Kuh! How impertinent!」
Mordred received the blow head on with his spear and cleanly parried it—a move which appeared well within Suarez’ calculations. The axe-wielder didn’t let the resulting impact throw him off balance. He promptly twisted the weapon around and brought it back for a second slash. I had to admit, the technique was skillful, and it would’ve been more than enough for him to take down the average adventurer.
But Mordred was no average adventurer.
「Your axe is mine. It’s already fallen under my control.」
At a glance, it almost looked as if Mordred had stuck his right arm up out of desperation after realizing that he couldn’t block the attack, but of course, that wasn’t the case.
The massive axe that had seemed to be on course to sever Mordred’s arm bent out of shape the moment it was about to make contact. It almost looked like the battleaxe had actually been made out of clay and not steel.
Though Suarez had already basically lost, Mordred didn’t let up. He assured his victory by manipulating the axe’s metal and wrapping it around Suarez’ body. The way it coiled around its former wielder had almost made it appear like some sort of living creature.
Mordred’s actions had demonstrated why Lava Magic was so fearsome. It allowed its wielder to take control of and freely manipulate metal-based substances.
「Shit! What just happened!?」
Suarez’ axe, or rather, his newfound fetters, had already returned to a hardened state. The prince tried to break free, but soon found himself unable escape his restraints. The steel hadn’t just been melted down and reshaped. It’d also be strengthened.
「Guooooooohhhhh! Release me, damn it!」
「Stop struggling. It won’t be possible for someone as weak as you to escape.」
And with that, the prince was made our prisoner.