Sailors in groups of three or four got together and pulled the ropes.
While the starboard side of the enemy ship and the port side of the Bell Rock was rapidly approaching, their opponents were busy cutting off the iron rakes.
Lil stood there curiously watching as they made a fuss and cut the ropes with their daggers.
‘Normally, a trained axeman can sever most of these iron rakes with one single blow, but this ship is so careless and apparently lacks axes.
No matter the rank, for a ship this size it’s common practice to hire mercenaries…’
“…The starting squad is crossing over! Cover them!..”
The starting squad, holding a rope each, swiftly ran across the deck.
When they approached the opposite railing of the ship, they flew up in an instant and climbed their ropes.
The sailors swung through the air towards the enemy ship, hanging in their ropes like monkeys moving between the trees in the jungle.
The gunshots covering them then occupied the deck of the Bell Rock.
“…Position the crossing board!..”
After that, everything else was a breeze.
Bell Rock’s sailors, angry about their opponent’s sudden attack, took over the deck of the enemy ship like a wave.
Lil shouted at the back of Alain’s head as he crossed the board.
“Capture the Captain alive! Don’t kill him! We need to know his affiliation!”
However, there were already people who crossed over to the Bell Rock too, so the deck started to be immersed in chaos.
Lil had to swing her clenched fists in the jaw of someone rushing in with his sword.
As soon as she tried to deal with the next one, Cesar intervened and escorted her.
Cesar easily cut one of them and said while looking back at her.
As Lil pushed the sword she had pulled out halfway back into the sheath and backed away, Cesar stretched out his arms while holding his sword to block her.
Lil looked up at his back and glanced at the relatively empty stern.
As that seemed to be Cesar’s intention, Lil climbed up to the poop deck as if she were pushed back and turned her gaze to the other deck.
The enemy ship was close enough to touch it, so it was clearly visible even without the use of a telescope.
Lil saw a man running around.
He had taken refuge on the poop deck like her.
While she had been staring at the man involuntarily, she came to her senses when seeing the man’s blue coat.
‘It’s the idiot whom I exchanged greetings with using our telescopes a while ago.
The one who waved his hand innocently was also wearing a blue coat.’
Lil looked around in a hurry.
Cesar was busy guarding the stairs.
He wouldn’t let the enemy reach her, but he wouldn’t let her reach them either.
As she lifted her head, she could see the rope that had hit her, dangling in the air.
Without hesitating, she grabbed it.
‘We must capture the Captain alive…’
Lil ran towards the opposite side, both hands firmly gripping the rope.
With her last step, she jumped up towards the railing and then pushed herself off the railing to gain more height, while leaning her weight forward.
In the blink of an eye she soared across the Bell Rock’s hull and aggressively lifted her clenched feet around the rope, climbing higher.
When she was finally high enough, she rectified the angle by straightening her right knee.
The captain was an easy target, as he seemed to roam around with a gun that didn’t have any rounds left.
– Puck! –
Lil’s knee struck the man in the ear.
After letting go of the rope, she easily landed on deck.
At her feet flopped a worn blue coat and the captain’s outstretched arms.
He didn’t even think about getting up.
Lil walked up to his knees, climbed on top of him and grabbed his collar.
With her other hand, she pulled her gun from her waist and pressed it against the captain’s chin.
Lil took a deep breath and started her interrogation.
“Where are you from”
Tears welled up on the man’s pallid face as he was clearly afraid of her.
The man pleaded with his hands raised over his head.
“I asked whom you belong to.”
“Spare me… Please, please! We don’t have any water left.
Please! I have a wife and children!”
“If you don’t answer, you receive no mercy.”
“This ship is The Marian from the Ga… Garni Association.”
“And you are”
“Captain Jacques Poussin!”
A pale, skinny man whose face was covered with tears and a runny nose.
The captain sniffed like a child as he searched his arms for an envelope.
Possibly due to the gun still being wedged under his chin, but the hand handing Lil the letter was shaking like a prickly tree.
“Take it out.”
Lil closely examined the power of attorney Poussin had placed before her eyes.
She could see the Duke’s family crest in the form of a rose decorating the top and Mireille’s signature at the bottom.
Lil said with a snort.
So Garni is attacking pirate ships now, is it a declaration of war”
“Pi… pirate… what Pirate ships”
As if he had just come to his senses, Poussin, who had been staring at her hands, looked up at Lil.
“You’re a pi…pi…pirate!”
“Yes, your precious merchant ship just attacked a ship belonging to the southern pirates.
I admire your bravery though.”
Lil held out her hand in front of the sobbing captain, asking for a handshake.
“Nice to meet you.
My name is Lil Schweiz.
May I board your ship”
His eyes that had been pouring out tears widened as if struck by lightning.
“Lil… Schweiz Amiaeng’s… That… ahhhhh! White flag! Raise the white flag!”
“That doesn’t work for me.
Blow the horn.”
The captain nodded frantically and rummaged his waist.
Lil stood up first and grabbed the back of the man’s collar to raise him.
He was so out of it, that it seemed he wouldn’t be able to give strength to his legs on his own.
She sighed, questioning how such a pathetic fellow could even attack another ship.
The sound of the horn signalled the end of battle.
The shouts and noises from clashing swords faded, those closest to the poop deck were the first to raise their heads to assess the situation.
And, as if on cue, silence descended from the main deck to the forecastle.
Followed by the sound of dropping weapons.
Soon, the sailors who had been in a bloody battle only moments ago looked up at the tall stern.
Lil stood behind the stern railing with Jacques Poussin by her side.
Poussin could be seen trembling with his arms raised.
His voice, filled with fear, broke the silence on the deck.
“S…Stan! Are you still alive Raise the white flag!”
Lil gently raised her hand to quiet the surviving victors as their roar resonated.
At the same time, the crew of the Marian fell to their knees with their heads bowed.
With joyful laughter, Lil’s crew aggressively snatched their opponents’ weapons.
It used to be the moment where she would burst out laughing, but somehow it was difficult to even raise her hand.
Lil tensed her toes to keep from falling over, unsure if it was just cold sweat or something else flowing down her face.
“I, Lil Schweiz, the Black Whale of Amiaeng, shall take all this ship’s loot within the hour.”
A burst of laughter erupted at the familiar declaration.
The sailors of the Bell Rock praised one another for their efforts, shook hands, and raised their caps to mock the aristocratic way of greeting.
Meanwhile, Courant climbed the stairs and wrapped a coat around Lil’s shoulders and put her triangle hat on her head.
Jericho, who followed, took Poussin over from her.
Now that her hands were free, Lil lifted her hat.
“They better pray that this whale’s stomach is at peace.
The disposal of this Garni barnacle that dared to attack the Bell Rock is to be decided after the official meeting.”
As various hats flew up the deck and so did the roars.
While the sailors rejoiced with their weapons soaring in the sky, Alain, raised himself on the shoulders of a large sailor and shouted.
“Hurrah three times!”
And, as usual, the three hurrahs that followed weren’t uttered in unison.
In reply, Lil put her hat back on her head and cautiously descended the stairs of the stern.
The dissonant Black Whale song then began to play on the deck.
They were so enamoured with their recent victory that they didn’t notice where their captain was headed and for Lil that was rather fortunate.
She could enter Jacques Poussin’s captain’s room without drawing anyone’s attention.
Whereas the Bell Rock’s sailors were busy seizing weapons and subduing prisoners of war outside the captain’s office, Lil sat firmly in the high-end chair sifting through the Hangyang Islands map on the desk.
She tossed and turned her hips in search of a more comfortable position, still feeling disoriented from the blood loss from her head injury.
She stretched her arm and grabbed whatever paper was on top of the desk.
Fortunately, the first thing she discovered was the captain’s diary.
Lil read the neat handwriting with dull eyes…
As someone’s voice rang in her ears loudly, the last words she read floated through her mind.
[ ‘Serlio… southwest… suspended search, stopped after two days…’ ]