Four weeks, that's how long the charter and her crew had been stationed at the currently being rebuilt city of Vant. All knights of Avalon had found themselves divided between working on the charter and on the city that had truly been devastated by the Lunar empires artillery fire.
Ursa had found herself in those day's helping the Avalonian engineers and the Hephatantian engineer's in the fixing of the charter. The other half she was helping those same engineer's in rebuilding the fallen city and clearing the debris of fallen skyscrapers and collapsed shopping malls from it.
It had been hard work and Ursa was secretly glad that they had left the island nation. Though she still felt guilt as a part of her wanted to keep helping the unfortunate nation and hero's never fled from responsibility. These thoughts had only worsened as the damaged Anjin market flashed back to her mind and so Ursa tried her best not to think about it.
The day that the charter finally had to leave Hephatan, the ship was almost as good as new and the crew had gained sixty new members from the island nation's navy as a sign of how firm the people of Hephatantian were in their treaty with Avalon.
The new crew mates were very much welcomed as the workload was so reduced that Ursa could finally to squeeze in time to read her Grimoire and the books from the charter's library.
" seven hundred... " William counted as she raised the thousands of tons metal weight above her head again and again with both her arms.
The weight might have been small in size for how much it weighed but Ursa could feel it's true weight as her biceps and triceps screamed out in hot blistering pain, ready to fall off from the act of continuously lifting for about seven hundred times.
She flinched in pain as she brought the weight back down before raising it again even though her muscles felt like jelly, ready to sloth off her arms.
"Come on Ursa you can do it" William encouraged her as she pumped up the weight again with her teeth gritted together, trying her best not to drop the metal.
"I hate you for dragging me to this" Ursa cursed with tears streaming down her cheeks before she finally placed the weight upon the ground unable to continue as her arms fully gave out.
"It isn't that bad Ursa" William said with a grin as he looked down to her as she fell upon the ground unable to continue.
Everyone else in the gym looked to her in amusement, but Ursa didn't care. She was too tired and in too much pain to care about what others thought about her right now.
"I should kick you for what you have done to me you monster " she said in anger as she breathed out heavily with lungs that hurt in every breath she took as if they had been stubbed.
"Don't be like that Ursa, you know as a knight you have to exercises. You have been too stuck in that Grimoire of yours, i am just worried that you could fall behind" William replied with a giant grin that Ursa really wanted to punch off his face.
"That Grimoire is very important you dolt" she cursed to him as she pushed herself back onto her shaky feet " I done, i need to bath".
"Oh, come on Ursa, just a hundred more reps before you go, come on " William pleaded with her, no doubt still amused by her earlier failure and wanting to see more of her failing but Ursa falcon had her pride and she wouldn't grant him that satisfaction.
She limped into the showers and wash away the salty sweat that had clang onto her body. The feeling of the water rolling over her tense flesh was a cathartic release from how much stress she had put her body under. She bathed far longer than she should have but at last she forced herself out of the bathroom as fresh as morning dew upon the fresh green grass.
She left the gym for her room with her eyes focusing on the open Grimoire in her hands as she went over the thousands of spells in the book.
Brigid might have been a one star wizard when she made this Grimoire, but the spells that she had learned, modified and created were truly things of beauty. Some spells could summon objects as long as the users elemental power was upon it, others could create the dust in the air into complex shapes, others could use the earth to sense things beyond her physical senses, others could transmute objects into earthen elements and others could even create automatons out her elemental power.
"You are a Deus damn genius " she thought as she flipped through more pages that showed her a healing spell.
Ursa was so taken with the magical codes that she didn't notice Dorothy of Ishtar's team coming also enthralled with whatever book she was also reading.
The two of them collided right into each other, sending them both tumbling to the floor at once simultaneously. Ursa landed upon the back of her head sending her brain spinning in confusion.
"Watch it you idiot!" both her and Dorothy yelled at each other at the same time unaware of who the other was.
They both realized who the other person was and who the two books laying upon the ground belonged to. Whatever righteous fury had been burning within them, died down at the realization that they were both at fault.
An awkward silence continued as they both arose from the ground and they picked up their books before they stood there in silence awaiting for the other to say something and break the ice.
"Ursa... Ursa Falcon right?" Dorothy took the task as she asked Ursa unsure of her name " You are part of Christian's team".
Ursa wanted to tell her that he preferred Chris until her mind reminded her " you aren't his friend are you, only his friends call him that".
" yes i am, it's pleasure to meet you miss... " Ursa remembered the first name but she couldn't for the life of her remember her last name.
"Gale" Dorothy answered and Ursa couldn't help but mentally chuckle as she thought about the hilarious odds of finding some named Dorothy Gale back on earth being slim, but here on Avalon everything was game.
"Again it's a pleasure, i am sorry about bumping into you, i should have been watching where i was going" Ursa decided to be the bigger person and try to get into a shouting match with this woman.
"It's okay, i should have been watching where i was going" Dorothy replied as she knelt down and picked up the books " Nice spell book, it's author was very creative ".
Dorothy said that as she inspected the Grimoire before handing it back to Ursa.
" You know, if you want to learn some new spells or you just want to get good at wizardry, you can ask me, i graduated from Maginoa academy as a two star wizard" Dorothy said with a friendly smile before walking away, leaving Ursa panicked and pleased both at the same time.
Even with the added crew members there was still enough space left that Ursa had a cabin all to herself. The door squeaked open and as Ursa walked in she realized that she wasn't the only soul present in her room.
Pyrrha Ulster stood in the center of her room facing the door with her great spear in hand. She wasn't dressed in the navy uniform similar to the rest of them but in knightly combat armour.
"Pyrrha" Ursa said out the name of the phantoms that haunted her nightmares.
"Hey there stranger, it's been a while" Pyrrha said with a smile "Sorry that i let myself in but it's important".
Ursa trembled as she closed the door behind before forcing out " H... O... How's... How's l... How's life t... treating you?".
Pyrrha seemed to think deeply for a second before a blush of scarlet red spread upon her face as she had thought of something embarrassing and Ursa wanted to know what it was.
"Life's been good, what about you?" Pyrrha asked her.
The honest answer to the elf's question should have been terrible. Other than the light that was William Redret, Ursa's life was miserable and bland.
"Oh, you know, can't complain" Ursa answered with a smile that was more strained that her arms when pumping weight's.
"Good to know" Pyrrha looked skeptical and Ursa couldn't blame her, the forced smile gave away the ruse that Ursa was using to mask her true feelings.
"What is it that you wanted to see me about" she asked Pyrrha just wanting to end this whole meeting as quickly as possible.
"You have to suit up, we have a mission" Pyrrha answered and Ursa felt as if a bucket of cold water had been poured upon her.
"I... i... can't" Ursa whispered out in fear.
"No you can" Pyrrha said in a strong voice with a face that had become as hard as stone.
"Look, i just can't, i just can't... you don't understand" Ursa breathed in and out with heavy breaths as the world felt as if it getting smaller and smaller.
"I do understand Ursa, i know what it's like!" Pyrrha shouted back at her before shocking her "I almost killed one of my friends, you know this Ursa. I thought that i couldn't face anyone i knew anymore, i spent year's wallowing in self pity and shame without bothering to ever face everyone who loved me, and they all thought they were doing me a favor by give space but it didn't help anything. I am not letting you fall into that hell Ursa, so woman up, grab some armor and weaponry from the deck and come along or i will drag you along myself!".
With each word Pyrrha spoke a blanket of fire rolled across her body and she looked for akin to some creature drawn from the fiery depths than the elf she knew.
Pyrrha didn't await her answer as she grabbed Ursa by her hand and she began to drag her out of the cabin and for Ursa's attempts to protest and pull away from Pyrrha failed as the elf proved her better in strength.
The deck of the ship was occupied by a group of twenty armoured knights, twenty other military men and women as well as Sun Wukong and Dorothy Gale who both stood upon deck armoured up.
Ursa came behind Pyrrha in some mismatched green and purple armor with a bow that she had quickly picked up in the armory.
"Aeris Ulster, Aeris Falcon, thank you for joining us here today" Chris said with a warm smile as he looked at her making Ursa somewhat squirm under the gazes of everyone upon the deck.
"Just doing my job Aeris Ddraig" she said though what she thought was " Otherwise Pyrrha might have beaten me like a drum ".
She went into the gathered ranks and she felt a slight tap upon her back. She turned to see Mulengu and Thor who both smiled as they gave her thumbs up and Ursa couldn't help but smile back at them.
" Alright every climb aboard, ten knights and ten infantry in each ship, come on" Sun ordered as he led them to the right side of the ship where two smaller metal vessels of Hephatantian works were.
The ships might have been smaller than the charter but they were still big enough to qualify as serious combat vessels of their own. The ships began to lower as they all entered their respective seats.
"Hey, thanks for coming" Chris said to her as the ship began to propel itself forward away from the charter.
"Yeah well, if i didn't the elf would have busted my nose" she answered him and Chris couldn't help himself but chuckle as he cast a certain type of look towards Pyrrha.
Ursa noticed it and she would have pointed it out but Chris was too stubborn to be directed into this. She would at best just let this matter play out on it's own. She had more pressing matters to ask about this time.
"What's really going on Chris, why are leaving the charter" she knew that some kind of debriefing had happened before.
"We have caught some sos signals from a ship somewhere ahead. We are acting as scouting party and help in case this isn't a trap" he replied "you might want to take a seat, it's potentially going to be a long drive".
The inside of the little armoured vessels had two long benches for them to seat themselves upon, Ursa was still feeling sore from her wounds and so she sat down feeling the exhaustion kick in as her eyelids felt heavier and heavier.
The dream came onto the little bird once again as it had before. She flew above the cold tundra that extended for kilometres upon kilometers without end.
The cold winds beat across her flesh and she could see nothing below but the white snow and ice like it always was. She kept flying but for how long she didn't know.
She stopped her flying when she reached the dark purple crystal, that laying within a crater. An oily dark purple ink seeped from the crystal and the bird could not help but recoil in disgust.
A shriek went out from the usually silent cold lands. The bird turned around confused by this development that never happened in these strange dreams.
A creature, hunched over and limping forward in a purple dirty cloak that had more patches of dirt brown than purple. The cloak covered the creature and the bird could not tell exactly what the pitiful creature was.
It leaped into the crystal and it crawled itself forward onto the crystal. The creature spoke in some old twisted tongue that Ursa couldn't understand, but the crystal clearly understood as it answered with a thousand voices of every kind at once.
The cloaked creature grew excited as it reached from it's robe and out it pulled a golden and silver crystal of it's own. It raised the crystal high above as it began to chant in it's unknown tongue.
The crystal was brought down with full force upon the dark crystal. From the impact, dark purple, golden and silver flames erupted so far and high that the little bird could not escape in time avoid being consumed by the flames.
Ursa awoke in a cold sweat, still feeling the blazing inferno of those flames and the cold touch within them that added a contradictory madness to the entire experience.
"Hey, is something... " someone was asking her but the question was cut as Sun Wukongs shout echoed across the the ship.
"Pirates!" The unconquered monkey cursed as he spat upon the floor " Alright mount the guns and everyone prepare to board!".
From the outside Ursa could see two giant ships engaging in battle. The ships were both together much smaller than the charter. One of the ships had a flag of a hanged man making it clear which one of the two was the pirate vessel and this ship was clearly close to being the victor against it's foe.
The guns upon their little ships opened upon the decks of the ships and striking all crew upon it. Their ship got closer and closer until it was right next upon the pirate ship.
"Board, now!" Sun roared as a leader from the ship extended until it reached the deck.
What followed next was chaos made manifest. She was pushed forward until she had climbed up the ladder until she was upon the pirate vessels deck.
"Open fire" Sun Wukong ordered and Ursa with every other knight and infantry armed in ranged arms aimed their weapons at the confused pirate's who were too taken aback by the shock of the charter's crew boarding to react in time.
She drew back this new bowstring and while it was a good bow, it felt wrong within her hands, too unfamiliar and lacking the little things that made Boudicca her bow. But that didn't matter now, she let her arrow fly and it struck some unfortunate pirate in the gut sending him flying to the ground.
"Pirates, surrender now!" Sun shouted the order at the pirates who looked at him in confusion.
From amongst their number emerged a man with dark skin and light blue hair and facial hair. His clothing was a deep red and blue with armor laid upon it in places, his finger's had ring with a jewel each. In one hand was a gun and in the other was a basket hilted broadsword.
"Captain Bonnet surrenders to no man Potamian. Slay them all!" The captain ordered his men " Show them the true wraith of the hanged maiden".
The pirates broke out of their drunken confusion and they roared as they raised their firearms and bows before opening fire upon them.
Two knights with circular shields raised forward and slammed their shields together unleashed an invisible force that stopped their ranged weapons.
From amongst the knight's she saw Chris, Thor, Mulengu and many others leaped through the invisible force with the armor that they had clad themselves in head to toe protecting them from the projectiles.
Chris cut his way through the pirates who all broke rank as the heavy knights charge from both sides crashed into them.
Behind him Thor was like a lightning bolt, blasting through everything that dared come through his way with Meghanada besides him.
Mulengu swung his blade besides Sun Wukong who was a twisting tornado of death. Nothing could touch him and all that he touched was destroyed by his metal staff and his immense strength that crushed through whatever armour the pirates were wearing.
"Stand down, now!" Chris roared ordering the pirates and with him standing so close to them with his blue steel blade now coated in crimson some pirates dropped their arms unwilling to die.
" What are you doing you stupid salt lickers" the captain roared in anger from amongst the pirates.
"They are doing the right thing pirate, stand down now!" Chris from behind the helmet met the captains eyes.
The captain went silent as if he was thinking deep and his options "I'd rather die!" He answered in anger as he swung his blade forward and from the sea a thin strap of water moved forward in a similar motion to how the captain moved his blade.
Chris reached out his hand and he caught the water freezing it instantaneously when they made contact.
"Bastard son of a... " Chris never let the captain finish as he bulrushed the man and their blades met in a most furious clash.
The captain might have simply been a pirate but Chris would give his due respect as the man held his own well against Chris. Their blades collided multiple times as they danced around each other with ever increasing fury and speed.
But none of them had even so much as scratched the other as their wild dance continued. Chris would try to cut the captain but then the captain would would parry and he would swing at Chris in turn who would prove himself fast enough to dodge the blow.
"Fighting a lightly armor foe while in full armor, have you no honour sir knight" the pirate taunted at him.
But Chris ignored him as he rolled forward under a sword swing before he kicked the pirate in the back of his leg forcing him down onto one knee before Chris round house kicked the pirate captain across the jaw sending him crashing upon the ground having let go of his basket hilted broadsword as he nursed the jaw Chris had just dislocated with his furious kick.
"Now, is there anyone else who wants to disagree?" He asked from amongst the pirates but the sight of their bested captain laying upon the ground nursing his jaw in pain broke their fighting spirit.
"Nice one kid" he heard Sun Wukong complement him.
The last shot from the pirate vessel was fired and not too soon latter did a ladder from the ship being attacked reach the pirate vessel. From it came a small army greater than both them and the pirates in number with a clear admiral at their front.
"Greetings friend's" Sun declared in his usual friendly tone of voice " We are Avalonians and we received your distress signal and such we came to aid against these pirates ".
The pirates in question all sat upon the deck bound at their hands and their feet. The only thing that they could do was glare at everyone around them in defiance.
" We are truly thankful " the admiral of the other ship replied before his eyes bore into Sun "But as known enemies of the Lunar empire and by proxy the Potamian nation, you are under arrest!".
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I am a 21 year old law school student at the National Institute of Public Administration. My dream is to one day publish my story phantom ddriag and hopefully get a show made from it.
I also have a youtube account that hundels web fiction content, here is the link https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCFz-mHywXBJnLF8uyofcLAw/videos