Chapter 1: Chapter 1
Some minutes had passed. Viera and her men held strongly unto The black trident, the cannons were loaded, the knight's swords held fast, all waited for the same movement—a creature below the waves. Blustery winds tapped out each second against the sailcloth, a snare drum announcing the oncoming beast.
Sir Rowry stood steady, his blade had been drawn at the ship's wheel. A dozen and a half men waited for a signal, either from their knight leader or from the beast that nearly capsized their vessel. Every wave that lashed the hull was felt by them all, each rock of The black trident, was a dare for any man to slip up and reduce the crew to rabble before the unknown predator.
"Starboard... S-Starboard..." The lookout knight stammered, heard only by the blessing of silence on the deck. He was a boy of seventeen years of age, with short brown curls, but already a sworn knight to the princess. He was the youngest knight in the boat.
"Starboard what, you prickly-boned little bastard!?" Said an older, fear-disgruntled white haired man, holding tight a harpoon and his sword for dear life. He was a year younger than Rowry, wearing a black armor, like all the knights on the boat. Only the princess was not dressed in armor, she was clothed in a long wool coat of deep red. His loud voice, evoked another rumble of the boat—and from the wave-spurred mist at his side, emerged the long, serpent head of The black trident's undersea stalker.
"Q-Quarter." the lad squeaked, before a deafening roar, soon drowned out by the more deafening thunder of the cannons firing into the waters.
Blast-propelled lead, smashed unto the scale-covered flesh of the beast in a volley that might have sunk a rival warship. The few men who could gather their courage followed, with tall harpoons in their hands, instantly lashing them against the beast still half-masked by ocean spray.
The beasts' rumble weakened to a squeal of man-made pain, and with a yard-sized chunk of The black trident's rail in its wake—it retreated back to the murky depths.
The men had earned themselves another period of strained solace. The white haired once bold with anger enough to scold the lookout knight, was now pale with terror. The lack of a carcass to reward the men's effort, had them return to their positions, reloading the cannons and attempting to regain their spirits.
"Lord Balor any idea what the bloody hell that was?" Sir Rowry shouted, snarling as he turned The black trident's wheel a sharp right. The men had to handle the fighting, if he veered too far toward the depths, the creature might use the coastline's drop-off to cleave right through the hull or leap onto the deck. Hugging the shallows without getting the ship stuck required skill and focus only faith in his men and the princess could give.
The handsome lord shook his head, his brown eyes was still stricken in fear, and his body still trembling.
"Thiles! What the hell is that beast?! You are an expert in sea creatures I've heard," The white haired shouted, pushing another growl through his clenched teeth.
"Mosasaurus, Sir! Don't think that volley is going to put it down just yet either..." The golden haired knight replied, sounding uncharacteristically bold as he helped a knight on the starboard, bow load another cannonball. There was not a sea critter thiles did not know, he grew up at sea having sailors as parent, but he chose to be a knight instead.
Sir Rowry had no response but to silently nod to his squad to steel themselves for what the beast planned next.
It had been a full minute since the last blast from the cannons. The black trident's crew had spent every moment since then reloading, rearming themselves with long spears, and watching the sea for signs of the beast's return. All eyes were glued to the horizon, hoping for a glimpse of something other than the dark void ahead. The wind howled and whistled across the deck, while the cannons continued to spit fire into the water. No matter where the beast went, it was sure to come back with more ferocity. Thiles knew this; it wasn't his first time at sea.
"Keep your heads low, men!" Rowry ordered as the crew braced themselves for a second attack. "Princess!" He called to Viera, and they both took cover behind the portside rail, while he held tightly to a spear. The beast was nowhere to be seen, and the crew took heart in that fact. It was hard to believe anything so big could hide itself beneath the waves.
Then came the rattle of the chain links, the clink of metal rings, and a sudden splash of cold water. A massive head broke the surface of the water, only inches away from the starboard rail. Its jaws opened wide, revealing rows of jagged, pointed teeth, like a dragon's fangs. Then the monster snapped shut, and with a loud crunch, the waves sent The black tridents' masts flying.
The boat lurched violently to the side, and the men screamed, clinging to the rails as the boat rocked and swayed, with water splashing in at the men. Rowry held tight to the rail, steadying his spear and waiting for the beast to make another move. The boat flowed unsteady, towards a giant stump in front, no man was steering the wheel, and none noticed the rock in front, lucky the princess did.
"Sir Rowry!" Viera yelled, pointing to the stump while holding tight to the rail. The knight leader ran fast amidst the strong rumbling, he reached the wheel and turned it side with full strength. They braced themselves against the wall of the cabin as the whole ship pitched sideways, in an attempt to evade the rock. Hard on the impact at the side, the men sprawled across the deck as the force threatened to shred the boat. A sail broke off at the surface of the stump, but as they relaxed after escaping the crash, they were glad it was all that broke.
"Boat's taken damage! I can barely steer through the waves!" Rowry roared.
Viera looked at him with concern, for there was another crash to evade, as she feared that even a single hit from such a creature could finally sink the ship.
"What do we do, princess?" The valiant knight leader asked, he was a man in his mid-thirties, long black hair and blue eyes, with a smile that cut like a knife. He was blessed with charms and a strong build, her loyal sworn knight.
It was her first sail at sea, though she had sailed the water's tide as a toddling, she could not remember, no one could at such an age, but her father had not failed telling her the stories. The matching of the invader to the castle, the evening sail to greyvalley on a boat with red sails with her in her mother's arms, fleeing the capital city as the war threatened to take their lives. Her father's triumph at dawn, the last of the outlanders, slaughtered by the king's men, with the head of their lord held high from her father's hand.
They say it rained at that moment, a sign the gods had fought with them. They sing ballads of her father— the peerless King Raides Baleron, lion of Asdall, fiercest king amongst men.
She was just like him, she had his silver hair and green eyes. Though she hate to admit it, she missed him so much. The gods took him from her too sudden, too early, before she could quench her anger towards him, and now they watch her birth right in the hands of her uncle. She should be queen, a ruler after her father, but the man had refused to make her his heir, and the lords would never support a woman to rule them, that was the order of things her father had ceaselessly reminded her. An order she vowed to change once she reclaimed her throne.
"We kill this beast, that's what we'll do" Viera repond, gazing at the rocky narrow path ahead.
"The cannons and spears seems futile your highness, this beast's unkillable" The youngest knight protested, with fear streaming through his face.
"We've got no choice, we cannot turn back now" Rowry said. "As the princess said, this beast must die. We'll smash it up against the rocks. That thing's got the speed of a deer, but not the brains of a bird. Stay calm, men, it will be over soon. Now, keep the cannons loaded, and prepare to fire at the slightest movement!"
As the path got closer, the sky darkened, the fog swirled in, and the air grew colder. The black trident, a ship worth holding five hundred men, began to rock hard, and the crew gripped the railing for their dear life. They heard a deep, booming roar from the depths of the ocean, and the boat shuddered. The Mosasaurus was coming back for another round, and none of them was eager to take the brunt of its fury.
"Load up! Load up, you bastards!" Sir Orwin the white haired knight yelled, his voice echoing through the boat. The knights responded more quickly and efficiently, no man was ready to die yet. The cannons fired again, and the sound echoed through the sea once more. Rowry steered straight at the giant rocky stumps to the narrow path, his plan was clear.
"Brace yourself everyone" he told. "Its time to sink this beast" he whispered to himself.
In a flash, the massive form of the beast rose to the surface like a serpent slithering above the sea. Its tail thrashed behind it, whipping water into a froth. Its reptilian eyes were wide and hungry, looking straight past the ship and into the hearts of her crew, and with a mighty lunge, the beast smashed its way through the waves and straight towards the black trident.
It's jaw opened wide to reveal more closely, rows of serrated teeth, like a saw blade on a meat slicer. A loose shriek so loud crawled from it's mouth, shaking the mast of the boat.
"Here it comes!" Sir Orwin screamed.