Kasa Brace, The Crimson Pirate

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Chapter 15

A few hours later Kasa returned to the Devil’s Reaper with Jorak and a few dockworkers in tow. Kasa led them on board and Kleine immediately directed the workers toward the hold and assisted with lowering the supplies to the storage below. Broen and Des moved crates from the magical trolley that contained the items Kasa had negotiated out of Kalderan.

The crimson pirate led Jorak, who was holding a large, iron bound chest, to her cabin.

Once the chest was secured, Jorak turned to leave; however, instead of a clear exit, he found Kasa naked and wanting his attention The crimson pirate was intent on finishing what she had started earlier that evening.

Jorak it seemed was more than happy to please her and hastily removed his clothes. Before his pants were halfway to the floor, she pounced on him like an alley cat. Much to Kasa’s satisfaction, the burly orc did not disappoint and expertly pounded himself into her eagerly with vigorous enthusiasm. Kasa and Jorak entertained themselves for nearly two hours, and when the big orc left her cabin it was with wobbly knees.

Des approached her as the orc walked down the gangplank. “You will sleep with anyone, won’t you?”

“Pretty much,” she said with a satisfied smile. “I have the gift to find something attractive in everyone. You, for instance are young, well-sculpted, and there is a fire in you begging to be released. I intend to bring that out of you, and if sex happens,” Kasa stepped closer putting her lips to Des’s right ear. “That is just a happy bonus for the both of us. ”

“I--” Des started to say.

Kasa laughed. “ Worry not, my young shifter, I will not force myself on you. That will come naturally.” She turned away from Des, “Kleine, was Viggers able to complete the modifications and enhancements?”

“Aye, Captain. Apparently your little romp made him eager to complete his task.”

“I hope I didn’t ruin him for his wife,” Kasa mused. “Very well, we’ll put up the new sails in the morning and be out to sea. I intend to take us south to Darren Var, and we’ll take on a new crew there.”

“Why not take on more crew here, Lo’ Threa-- I mean, Captain?” The mite, Broen asked.

“Kalderan expressed to me that the Crimson Widow has kept to the sea and skies north of Karasan’s Spire. Winston has taken to preying on the refugee vessels coming south from the Sundering in Filderas. Darren Var will be the best place to pick up crew that will not be spies. I’m sure word is already on its way to the bastard that I have returned.”

“I agree, Captain, that will be the best course of action. There are quite a few good sailors in that port. I believe I have a cousin or two that could use the work,” Kleine agreed.

“Good, we have a busy day tomorrow. Rest up,” Kasa told them before turning back to her cabin. She heard Kleine following behind her. Kasa waved her off, though. “Not tonight, I’ve indulged myself enough today. You really should spend some time with your husband.”

Kleine stopped in her tracks. “He is not my husband,” she said dryly.

“In the eyes of his ancestors, you are, and we have both been made of the tribe. I’ve seen the power of their ancestral beliefs; I would not chance upsetting them. Besides, take the ride sober, and you will find that Broen is quite the feral lover.”

“Is that an order, Captain?” she asked, her head inclined.

“Does it have to be?” Kasa asked, one glowing eye peeking over her shoulder back at her first mate.

“I...ah... no, Captain.”

“Good, now go have wild tribal sex with your husband. We have ahead of us what I suspect will be a bumpy ride to Darren Var. It took me long enough to control Devil’s Reaper in water; I imagine it will prove a more trying task in the air."

Kasa returned to her cabin and stripped out of her clothes. She preferred being naked and took every opportunity to enjoy the freedom of nudity when she could. She stretched before her mirror as she always did, then ate a bit of the food set in her cabin and got into bed. It only took her moments to drift into sleep. Kasa's rest, however, was brief, and she woke to the sensation of unfamiliar footsteps on Devil’s Reaper’s deck.

“Captain Brace,” the shade of Captain Briarbeard said. “We have been boarded.”

“I know; rouse the others,” she told him, rising from the bed. Kasa knew her time was limited and decided to grab her weapon belt over grabbing clothes.She secured the belt around her waist and closed her eyes. Through the bond with the near-sentient ship, the red pirate could feel the intruder’s positions. She counted ten, five on the main deck, three below, and two were scaling the ropes towards the crow’s nest.

She could sense that two of her small crew rested below, and that one of them was in fact in the crow's nest. The invaders moved cautiously toward her cabin. One of them placed his ear to the door. Widowmaker already in her hand, Kasa stabbed the enchanted blade cleanly through the door and the intruder on the other side. She winced as she felt a small sting of pain, similar to a bee sting.

Kasa shrugged off the sensation and smiled, as she withdrew her blade, a third of its length crimson with blood. The red captain kicked a bare foot hard at her door. The impact sent the dead intruder sliding back across the deck. Kasa walked out of the shadows of her dark cabin, her silver eyes gleaming brilliantly in the darkness. She walked naked, save the sword belt, Widowmaker and Blood Biter in each hand, and said, "You boys chose the wrong ship."

Just then, one of the intruders fell from the sails above, landing hard with a thud. At the same time, ropes descended from the riggings above and entangled two of the four remaining men. Kasa fired a poison-enchanted bolt at the one on the left as she quickly advanced to cross blades with the rest of the unencumbered intruders.

The pair of would-be assassins came at her fast and hard, swinging well-crafted short swords. Kasa nimbly danced her bare form between the two of them, parrying strikes with ease. She could tell these were not assassin guilders nor thief’s guild members. They were skilled but not as skilled as ones who spend their life honing their craft.

One of her attackers attempted a thrust, but Kasa quickly parried the strike, taking the center and countering with a thrust of her own. The attacker’s blade was too far removed and Kasa was too quick for them to react. Widowmaker's poisoned blade pierced through the invader's left eye, blood spewing. He screamed in pain, retreating, reaching for the sword. Kasa withdrew her blade and hit the walking dead with a spinning roundhouse kick. The blow sent the man tumbling off the side of the ship.

Kasa parried another blow as spears of ice hammered into the back of an intruder fleeing from below. Kasa turned to face the other sword-wielding intruder as he rushed toward her. The two crossed blades and began the dance of steel. Kasa found herself impressed by this one as he matched her, strike for strike. She caught sight of the large, bulking intruder who had been tangled by the ship’s ropes break free and cross blades with Des. Due to her connection with the ship, she could feel Broen and the other intruder who scaled the ropes moving back and forth along the main mast.

Her opponent seized the opportunity and unleashed a near-fatal flurry of strikes. Kasa parried the first few blows; however, the last slipped through her defenses, and the assailant scored two small cuts, one on her right forearm, the other on her left shoulder. Kasa hopped back two steps, breaking free of the dance, a silver fire blazing in her eyes.

The intruder charged after her, leading with a thrust. Kasa spun to the right, evading the attack, and with her left hand drew Dragon’s Breath from its scabbard. The magic sword ignited with a brilliant crimson flame that illuminated the night and nearly blinded both Kasa and her attacker. She slashed down with a blazing arc, slamming the intruder’s sword into the deck. She winced again from a sudden sharp sting, Kasa completed the spin, stabbing the surprised attacker in the throat with Widowmaker. The nude red pirate pulled her rapier from the dying man and advanced toward the large brute.

She paused for a moment as the second assailant fell from the crow’s nest. She stepped over the dead man and got into position behind the last intruder. Kasa heard Des scream in pain as the brute landed a hard blow. Kasa moved quickly, slashing a deadly line of poison across the large man's back. The brute roared and turned to face her. He moved two steps before dropping to his knees, Widowmaker's venomous sting doing its work. The large man removed his mask revealing him to be an orc, an orc Kasa knew intimately.

"Jorak, what in the shadowed realms are you doing here?"

"Thomas... said you... Must die. You the only one... that knows... about the glove."

"That son of a bitch!" she exclaimed. " Kalderan?"

"DEA--" Jorak tried to say before succumbing to the deadly poison.

Kasa closed her eyes, feeling the ship around her; she could sense no other intruders onboard. With her thoughts, she eased the ship’s oars into the water and raised the anchor. The ship began to move out into the bay by her will alone.

“How are we moving?” Des asked, his voice quavering with unease and pain as he watched the ropes and riggings move and the sail unfurrow.

“Devil’s Reaper is a special ship,” Kleine answered. “Be still so I can heal that wound.”

“OK… Where are we going?” the young shifter inquired, watching the docks vanish in the night.

“Hawk’s Landing’s laws do not look kindly to murder, even when it’s in self-defense. Moreover, it appears that we have another bastard to add to my list. Kalderan was a friend and his own protectors have betrayed him. That damn glove is cursed!” Kasa said.

“What do we do now, Lo’ Threa?” Broen asked, landing on the deck next to her, his spear still glistening with crimson blood.

“We stick to the plan, we get a crew, and we hunt down Winston and my stolen ship. After that bastard is ushered off to the shadowed realm, we’ll make arrangements to take out the wealthiest man in Daskan’s Fall.

“Aye, aye, Captain!” the crew exclaimed.

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