Perhaps to the surprise of no one, I woke up a bit later into the day than I normally would. I would have to blame the attention I gave to Ellen last night. Naturally, it be not her fault since I kind of sprung it on her, but I doubted she hated it as much as she claimed she did. Her curses that night didn't carry their usual fire. She merely walked back to her room after bidding me a good night. I think I should have been weirded out by that, but my sleepy brain must not have been up for figuring it out.

I bring this up because I think I would have slept for longer if Diane hadn't been making small movements and groans. I had surmised that my treatment of her last night had left her mightily uncomfortable through the night. That said, I didn't hear one word of complaint from her groaning lips. Whether that be because of her pride or her inner masochism, I held no idea. However, her bouts of discomfort had forced me to acknowledge that I wasn't getting any more sleep.

Ya might think this was the time where I would punish Diane by smacking her lovely ass for irritating me so. It was most unfortunate, but that wasn't the case. Instead, I had Burnwood on my bed, naked as a babe, with hot oils and smooth lotion on her skin, while I massaged and caressed her body.

Just as I had done for Ellen and Aesteal, I made sure to show Burnwood that there were two sides to punishment. First, was the fire and the passion. Last, was the cold and the tenderness. Aye, a pirate ain't much known for that whole tenderness shit, but I'm not every other pirate. This was how I did things. Perhaps this is how I would always do things as long as my soul was attached to this body of combined spit and earth.

I rubbed Diane's shoulders and trailed the oil and lotion down her back. Like the horny bastard I was, I spent some time kneading Burnwood's ass. Her quivering form beneath my touch drove my arousal to great heights. It certainly didn't help that, due to our position, her feet would raise and tickle my ass whenever I applied pressure to her sensitive areas.

"Mmmmm," She moaned as I pressed my thumbs into her back. Her well-toned muscles provided my fingers with apt stimulation. My cock was buried between the crevice of her cheeks as I received my own pleasure from this massage that had been taking place.

Neither of us spoke as I then moved to her shoulders. I heard some tense muscles crack and shift, but Burnwood offered no words of complaint so I moved on. I paid attention to every corner of her body and though there was pleasure to be had here, it was not the end goal of my desires for once.

There had always been an underlying tension between Diane and myself. Ever since we first met, well first for her, on Draegnar, we had remained professionally distant from each other due to my business with Liara. Perhaps our Draegnarian sass towards each other was the problem from our first meeting. In Diane's eyes, I was no more than a poor brat way in over my head. I had no doubts that she assumed I would be another in the long list of men who crossed Liara and lost their souls to their own hubris in response. I was sure I had broken down every failing expectation she had of me. That must have infuriated her all the more.

Plus, the witch had grown fascinated with me. How I bet it burned Diane to see my lips meet Ilzahold's whenever it was convenient for one of us. How could someone like me hold such a privilege?

As she tried to understand more of me, the more she noticed my activities with my mother, Ellen, Aesteal, and Liara. Strong women, powerful women submitted themselves to me in a manner she didn't get. The more she tried, the harder she fell until she submitted to me as well. I was more than just some lowly brat on a makeshift island of wrecked ships. I was a man with great power and ambition. She had no choice but to recognize that.

She also had to recognize that what I had with the others was not disconnected from anything else. I was the captain of this vessel. I was the one who gave the orders and plotted the courses of the ship. It was no different from my dealings with them. Aside from Ellen at the very start of our relationship, I had done nothing with anyone that they couldn't back out of. It was why I was careful in my dealings with Aesteal.

Nevertheless, I imagine that Burnwood and I now have an appropriate understanding between us. I do think she still desires to place a bullet in my head. The thought makes me laugh.

Once I'm done, I wipe my hands and sit in my chair. I sought no further stimulation with Liara's guard and I think she became aware of that. Hell, dare I say I saw disappointment upon her face when she leaned up? I'm not surprised someone like Diane can take a beating.

I allowed myself the wonderful sight of Burnwood getting dressed. She gathered up her clothes, placed on her black coat, and fastened her boots. Unsurprisingly, her eyes did not attempt to meet mine during that entire process. When she turned to leave, I spoke.

"Hmm, this voyage might come to an end when Liara learns of what I've done to you. If I am to die, should I not receive thanks for risking my life to punish an unruly member of my ship?" I asked. My fingers clasped together, and my left leg over my right knee, I watched Diane pause at the door.

"Thank you, sir," She replied.

My eyes narrowed. "Turn around and look me in the eye when you speak to me. I was gracious enough to ease your pain when we woke up. If you're going to continue with an attitude like that then you're welcome to leave and never enter my quarters again," I replied.

Granted, I think that wouldn't be too hard for Diane at first, but there was no doubt that within her mind she was thinking of all the depraved, dirty, sensual things I could do behind these doors. What I had done to her and more was within my means and never again would she experience the strong arm and harsh blow of a paddle against her skin. Her mind was full of excuses, but the bod of the guard of Liara could not withhold its honesty. She had cum. She had cum hard from my touch. Was there anyone on this ship who could do what I had done? Dare she take the chance?

The answers to these questions were made when Burnwood turned around and walked back to me. "Thank you, Sir. Thank you...for risking...your life to...punish me," She said, a tremble here and there between words. I'm not sure if those trembles were of rage or of nervousness, but either way, they made me quite satisfied.

"Come here," I ordered.

She came a little closer to me and I delighted in the kiss that I surprised her with. She tried to pull away, but I grabbed her head and firmly pressed her body against mine. A rush of stimulation ran through my body as her tongue tried to tackle mine before we pulled away.

"Very good. Be a good slut and maybe I'll decide to risk my life for another night. Now go before you worry Liara with your absence. You're dismissed," I said.

"Thank you, Sir," she growled out. She then turned around and groaned in a voice of pain and pleasure when I smacked her sore bottom cheeks. My eyes locked on to that tantalizing jiggle of her ass.

Burnwood fired off a glare at me, but I merely responded with a wink of my right eye. She then left as I heard the sounds of my crew working outside. I had given everyone enough rest and enough mirth to fill the entire ship. It would be time to continue soon. That would move us into the third trial. One more would remain after that trial, more terrifying than the others.

I turned my chair back to my desk. I had taken this time to work some of Liara's magic into my wisened head. With her magic, I walked the steps of my previous passage through the Graven Sea. After all, before I had landed on Delverhold, I had acquired rather sizable buried treasures and sunken riches. I would not leave them to collect dust or seaweed wherever they laid. They would still find their place aboard my ship along with all the other wealth I had collected.

I had to take out a separate map from the one I had been using to draw and mark the places that my memory had led me. It was a bit aggravating, but I persisted through this until I was satisfied. When I pushed myself away from my desk, I heard a knock on my door.

"Enter," I said.

The door opened and my beautiful mother appeared, her hair flowing like auburn leaves in the wind. "Glad to see you're finally awake. I had a feeling ever since I saw the results of your work when Diane left your room. What unholy things have you laid upon her?" My mother asked as I watched her lovely hips saunter down the steps until she stood before me.

"Why must you think me a devil, mother? I only gave what she wanted," I replied, a not so pure smile on my face.

"Aye, devils do give fuckers what they think they want. If I had not mistaken, then I would be sure I was bedded by an incubus rather than a human male," she claimed while I laughed. She shared a chuckle with me before she held up a piece of paper. From what I could tell, it seemed to be a report of sorts.

Before she could open her mouth, I held up a hand. She eyed me curiously only to roll her eyes when I patted her seating place. I didn't catch the full mumble under her breath, but I'm sure I heard 'hony bastard' in there somewhere.

Aye, she wasn't wrong in that regard.

So, my mother took her seat on my lap and my arms around her lovely body as she read me the report of the ship's structure, crew maintenance, food supply, treasure vault, and financial standing. It was a little boring to hear, but I figured the warmth of my mother was enough to keep me awake and listening.

It might have been because of the celebration last night, but the food had taken a notable dip. Of course, I still held more than enough. I would not need to go pulling fish, sharks, and other manner of creature from the sea for us to feed on, but it was a reminder that I would need to remain aware that there was no need for everyone to feast like weighted kings in a dining chamber.

"Hmmm, I wonder how many bones are swimming down the sea as we speak," I said.

"Not many I should say, since the Witch asked for all the bones to be given to her," My mother replied.

...I dared not ask. There are too many rituals and items involving bones for me to know what she needs them for.

"Is that so?" I asked, not really expecting an answer.

I allowed my mother to go back to her own duties while I decided now would be a good time to go outside and face the air.

I opened the door and I noticed that it there was a tighter breeze than what had been there last night. It wouldn't deny that it felt rather nice to feel the wind since all I had to feel yesterday was unease and tension.

My boots knocked against the wood as I saw Maeloson and Aesteal practicing archery with their warriors. I don't exactly recall where all those arrows came from, but I assume they must have been a part of this ship's arsenal before it had been loaned to me.

As I watched the men and women from Hilvir fire their arrows, some successful and others not so successful, I thought about what I would use their people for. Naturally, having them as part of my crew was an added bonus to the elves. I remember I had charged Maeloson and Aesteal with finding a suitable purpose for these former captives if I was to help them.

I couldn't deny that the idea they gave to me held some merit, and not for the reasons that they thought.

Since I had won Ellen, and by extension her business The Dead Tales, I could have these men and women aid in the management and expanse of that business. Now, one might be asking what the hell a pirate would need something like that for? Well, while I might be in the mood to dig up and scour for treasure, information was something different.

Ellen had great connections, definitely not as wide or spectacular as Liara's, but great connections nonetheless. While I sailed and spread my name, it would not be so bad to spread these trained warriors throughout the world of D'orn.

Even now, I still do not know who this great enemy is that orchestrated my death at the hands of my former beloved, Leah, and my crew. While I would not spare them their own destruction, I still needed answers to the questions I sought. These Hilverian warriors would be useful for that. I only hoped I could keep them alive for them to be of use to me. I was even considering sending some of them to learn of the situation in Alteria's nation.

Naturally, the only reason I was interested in playing a part in her little war was because she had promised me a supply of the empire's crystallized ash. To receive something as grand as that under these circumstances made returning to my reign over the seas a faster ambition.

I placed these thoughts in the back of my mind for later. I ordered that we continue. The sails were released and the anchor was pulled from the depths. The breeze of the wind, and my hand of the tides, carried us along as our journey into madness continued.

We sailed for about ten minutes or so before someone called out to me.

"Captain!" The person waved from the other side ship that led into the lower areas.

I pulled my eyes away from the map I had been reading to turn in that direction. The person who called out to me was a man with a scar over his top lip. "Sir, the Xhaluter calls for ya. Can't figure out shit nor spit of his tongue. He just yells 'Captain, Captain' to us. Makes it hard to play cards," he said to me.

Curiously, I gave Ellen control of the ship while I walked down the steps. It wasn't long until I reached the brig. I dismissed the guards as one of them tossed me the keys. I opened the door and stepped inside.

I paid no attention to Boreli. Instead, I kept my focus on the Xhaluter. The brown-skinned man bore fire into my eyes with his own gaze. I took a lone chair and sat in it in front of him.

"I hear ya cried for me?" I asked.

The Xhaluter did not respond to my question. Instead, he settled for glaring at me as if he was trying to weigh me down. I did not know why he was doing such a thing. I also had not the patience to care. So, I cast my magic spell and laid my hand on Nz'ia forehead like I had the last time.

"I'm busy. What do you want?" I asked.

Nz'ia stared at me for a bit longer before he finally decided to speak. "I shall sail beneath your flag, pirate. I will sail on your ship until my clansmen are secured and free to roam the hot desert lands of Gheaq once again," He said.

I looked him over and I found no lie in his words. Despite the Xhaluter's natural fear of the water, he was willing to sail under me to free his people. I did not ask for more. I had gotten what I needed from him.

I unlocked the Xhaluter's shackles and watched him stand to his feet. Once again, I found myself impressed with a Xhaluter's height. In contrast to myself. He stood at least seven feet tall. It could not be an exaggeration that he towered over me. Actually, he's about Goron's height, but not much for the giant's berth. Despite the obvious signs of malnutrition still prevalent in his body from his weeks of not eating, I'm still reminded that he is indeed a warrior fit to survive in the harsh and unforgiving waves of heat and sand.

"Farewell comrade. Tell stories of me!" Boreli said as I sought to lead Nzi'a from the brig. However, I stopped for a moment. I turned back to Astell and stared at him for a time. I can already feel the rage bubbling within me like a great volcano ready to release its wrath, but I keep it at bay.

I walked over to Boreli and picked him up. He nervously smiled at me. I could clearly see the fear in his eyes. No doubt he was worried I was going to sock him across the jaw like I had done when I got him on my ship the first time.

Instead of doing that, though it would have made me happy, I undid the bounds that held him to the brig as well. He stared at me, confused. That dumb look on his face irritated me. I grabbed his arm and shoved him towards the door.

"Move," I said.

He stumbled out of the door. The Xhaluter was next to follow, and I was the last. I locked the brig door and grabbed Astell's arm. I then pulled him and guided Nz'ia to the upper floors.

"So my time has come? You're gonna make me walk the plank! I'm gonna die like a sewer rat!" He exclaimed as he told of his woes and his misfortune. It got to such a point that I knocked the back of his head.

"Keep spouting shit and I'll make ya walk the plank without your legs," I threatened.

Boreli wisely shut his mouth after that. I then led him and Nz'ia into a room that which had been formerly occupied by some of the sailors who had abandoned my ship before the first trial. I noticed a group of men playing some type of game involving their ration tickets. Once they all took notice of me, they scrambled to their feet.

"Captain, t-this...umm...we be just...," someone said before I waved them off.

"I don't care. Take your game somewhere else. I need this room," I said. The men collected their cards and scrambled out of the room. I then pushed Astell inside as I entered along with Nz'ia.

"This will be your room from now on. Aside from my quarters and Liara's quarters, you both have free rein of the ship. Nz'ia, you will come to me if you have questions. I doubt most could speak your tongue anyway,"

He wordlessly agreed which led me to Boreli.

"If ya like your dick where it is then I best not hear you causing trouble," I said. My former First Mate looked at me before he looked out the window. He stared into the vast openness of nothing but water. He then looked back at me.

"How do you know I won't try to escape? I might not look it, but I can swim," he said.

I walked over to the window and pushed it open. I then reached into my coat and pulled out a piece of dried meat that had been my breakfast for the better part of the afternoon. Aye, that isn't really breakfast, but...I sure as the frozen hells ain't counting it as lunch.

I threw the piece of meat into the ocean and walked back. Suddenly, what seemed like a great seaquake rocked my ship and threw everyone off balance. A heavy bellow came from beneath the waves. Through the ship, we could all feel something hard grazing the underside of my ship. I'd have to repair that when I got the chance. As big as this vessel was, it would be no different from floating planks in the waves of more crashes like that happened.

"Be my guest. There ain't no whale to swallow you from what's beneath those waves," I said. Astell swallowed nervously as he patted his bed.

"Swimming is best done in calmer waters," He replied.

...Indeed it is.

So I left Nz'ia and Boreli in their own room. I did think to have someone keep an eye on the latter, but I figured there was no need. If I had him chained up then with what was coming next it would be most likely that he would die. I couldn't have that. It would be too easy if he were devoured by some giant beast.

Anyway, I decided to head back to the Main Deck.

"Captain, what was that?!" Someone asked me.

That question seemed to resonate with the others as they all looked to me for answers. I couldn't help but silently chuckle at the thought of them so readily denying my captain's title before we had set sail from Draegnar. Now, they all look to me as my old crew had. It became quite clear to us all that my age was no longer a factor.

"Aye, ya drags, before that, get everyone up here," I said.

The crew shivered this time. I think they all knew what I was about to say. Nevertheless, Ellen ordered for everyone to be present. It wasn't long before everyone was present. No one made mention of Boreli and the Xhaluter who had come as well. It was rather appreciated since I didn't feel like answering questions.