Book 4 - Sword
“Captain, we already have a full crew. Why do we need this particular human?" Kleine asked.
They were sitting at a small table in the back of the Bronze Anchor, a modest establishment nestled in between a brothel and bakeshop. Kasa and crew had been in Darren Var for a month after their hasty departure from Hawk’s Landing. During that time, Kasa had hired on a crew, armed her ship, Devil’s Reaper, and gathered what information they could about the pirate calling himself Captain Deadeye.
Deadeye was the name taken by Kasa's mutinous first mate, Winston Dunn. Winston had led a successful mutiny on Kasa's old ship, Crimson Widow. Thus far she had learned that Winston, she refused to call him Deadeye, had amassed a great bit of wealth from his sale of the golden chest and used that gold, in addition to Crimson Widow's reputation, to draw other ships under his flag.
He had set up a base of operations in one of the many islands south of the forsaken country of Filderas. His ships frequently attacked vessels attempting to bring goods to the Forgotten Fade, Filderas, and Avaloin. Kasa had a crew ready to start her revenge plot, but the acquisition of this one talent was too good to pass up. Kasa distractedly watched the sway of the serving girl’s hips almost as lecherously as many of the male patrons and replied, "Because he's the best damn swordsman I have ever seen."
"As I hear it, he's not even a sailor or a pirate, and some say he's crazy."
"Ha!" Kasa mused, taking the mug from the girl and giving her a few silvers for a tip, Kasa's hand brushed against the girl’s, and the young girl blushed nearly as crimson as Kasa herself. "Kritis Melda is far from insane. Elenoren, on the other hand, is another story entirely," the crimson pirate implied, taking a drink of the dark dwarven ale in her mug as the blushing girl, still looking in Kasa’s direction, walked away nearly bumping into another patron.
"Who?" Kleine asked with a raised eyebrow.
Kleine nearly choked on her beer laughing. “Was that supposed to be a joke about his penis?"
Kasa smiled. "No, I am referring to his actual sword. It's alive, mouthy, and a bit crazy."
"Tha-that's not possible," the young mage protested.
"Yet, my being mentally and physically bonded to a several hundred year old ship is absolutely normal?" Kasa mused, staring at her first mate with shining silver orbs.
"That is old magic. No one can explain how it works, but it’s entirely possible.”
"As I understand it, his sword is old magic too."
A human, tall and dark of skin, with brown dreadlocks hanging just past his shoulders walked toward their table in the back of the Bronze Anchor. He stepped lightly for someone of his height and build, and his fine dark chainmail made barely a sound. On his hip was a silver-hilted longsword in a black leather scabbard. Kasa smiled warmly as he approached, remembering a pleasant past encounter.
The two of them had crossed paths once a few years ago when their quarries were the same. Kasa had heard about a lucrative shipment coming out of Grinda the dwarven city south of the Storm-Swept sea. Kritis had taken a job protecting the very same shipment. The two had crossed blades on the ship's deck, and the contest almost cost Kasa her life. She remembered vividly that no matter how quick she was, the chocolate-skinned human was quicker. Her crew won the day, and the shipment was hers for the taking; however, she discovered something, or it should be said, someone she desired more.
Kasa rose from her seat at the table and wrapped her arms around the swordsman in a warm embrace. She kissed him deeply, and pressed herself longingly against him. After a moment they pulled apart. “It is good to see you as well,” Kritis stated with a warm smile.
“It is good to taste you again,” she replied with a lustful smile and gestured towards a seat. “The years have been kind to you. You do not look as if you have aged at all.”
“The years have been well enough, and this is?” he asked, taking a seat at the table and gesturing to the other in their company.
“This is my first mate, Kleine.”
“A pleasure,” he said.
“The same,” she replied.
The serving girl from earlier swung by the table and took Kritis' order, but Kritis was forced to repeat the order, as the girl seemed to lose concentration. Kasa smiled, and Kritis sighed. He took a moment to unbuckle his sword and laid it on the table in front of him.
“Excuse me,” he said, “Elenoren doesn’t like being left out of a conversation.”
“Don’t make me sound like a nagging wife in front of someone that knows nothing about me,” spat Elenoren’s disembodied voice. The sword’s voice was smooth and melodic even when speaking reprimands.
Kleine's eyes went wide with surprise and Kasa could feel a wide smile stretch across her face. The sword giggled at the response. “That never gets old... and it's good to see you, devil slut."
"You too, blade whore," Kasa replied.
Everyone was silent for a brief moment, then Kasa and Elenoren burst out in jovial laughter. Kleine remained silent, still in shock by the speaking weapon that lay before her. The serving girl returned to the table with Kritis' drink. Kasa watched her for a long moment, eyeing the girl’s curves and how her bodice enhanced her voluminous bosom. The girl seemed to move slower than she could have, like she was savoring the attention. Kritis snapped his fingers, regaining Kasa's attention. "Still sleeping with near anything that walks on two legs?"
“We are all slaves to our nature," she replied, biting her lower lip, an all-too familiar hunger rising deep within her. "Kritis, thank you for agreeing to see me."
"How could I not? We shared some good times."
"After she tried to poison you," Elenoren grumbled.
"Elenoren, are you still sulking about crossing blades with Widowmaker?"
"That is not a sword, that is a disgusting assassin's tool. Lacing a blade with poison is deplorable as it is; enchanting a blade to produce its own poison is perverse."
"OK, OK, worry not, I have no intentions of crossing blades with Kritis. You will not have to feel her poison against your...steel?" Kasa mused.
"Celestial onyx!" Elenoren corrected.
"Ladies, please," Kritis said putting up his hand. "Kasa, I am sure you did not request to see me to have a argument with Elen."
"You’re right, I didn't. I got wind that you were in town and I hoped I could find you before you took on another job."
"Well, I have taken on a job, but you know I'm not a pirate, and I don't know squat about sailing."
"As luck would have I'm not in the pirating business anymore, and I'm in need of a really good sword arm."
"I bet that's not the only arm you’re in need of," Elenoren interrupted.
“Keep that up and I’ll jump him right here on the table,” Kasa said.
“Fine, fine,” Elenoren conceded.
Kritis placed a hand on the Elenoren’s scabbard, “Do explain, Kasa.”
"I ran into a spot of trouble a few months back. My traitorous first mate stole my ship and marooned Kleine and I on an enchanted island, "she took a drink from her mug. “Well, as you can see, I’m no longer on the island and payback, as you know, is a bitch. This particular bitch is six feet tall, red-skinned, perpetually horny, and filled with the need for vengeance.”
“I see, so you're gathering men to hunt this man down?”
“Exactly, I have a new ship and have amassed a capable crew. Still there are few, if any, that can match your--” Kasa licked her lips. “--skill,” she finished.
“Pay?” Kritis asked.
“We’ll be attacking the pirate vessels that Winston has gathered under his banner. The loot and any bounty on the ships will be split amongst the crew.”
“This sounds like a good deal, love,” the enchanted sword commented.
“How long would this contract be till?” Kritis asked, drinking from his mug.
“Until it’s done. Until that treacherous bastard has met Widowmaker’s kiss,” the crimson pirate declared.
“Well, I’d love to join your cause,” the chocolate-skinned sword master declared, “but as I said, I did take on another job.”
Kasa sighed, as the hope of both having Kritis’ masterful skill with the blade and his other talents on board would have been a small blessing. Kritis continued as if not noticing her dismay.
“This job does require me to reach a remote island and recover a wealthy merchant’s daughter. If, by chance, a lovely red pirate would be of assistance that would… Well, that would be greatly appreciated and free me up for other opportunities.”
A broad smile stretched across Kasa face, “Sounds like we have ourselves a deal,” she said as she raised her mug and clinked it with Kritis'.”
"How long do you need to gather your gear?" Kasa asked.
"None; I travel light. My pack is upstairs."
"Well, let us finish these drinks and head to my ship. We'll take care of this job for you and then be on our way."
"Oh joy! Another murder-filled adventure with the devil slut!" Elenoren grumbled.
"Hush, you. I could still fuck him right here on the table."
"Ladies, ladies. Please, no one is fucking me right now. Come Elen, lets get our things and be on our way," Kritis said. The swordsman rose from the table and headed upstairs.
Kleine leaned over to Kasa. "Are you sure about this?"
"Oh, yes I am," she said, lust in her glowing eyes.
The serving girl walked to the table once more. “Refills?”
The light in Kasa’s eyes shone a bit brighter. She took the girl by the hand and said, “Of ale? No, I’ve had enough. There is something else I’m thirsty for.”
The girl did not flinch by Kasa’s touch; her cheeks reddened and her breathing shortened. Want and longing became clear in the young girl’s eyes. “I… think… I’d … b-be able to help ya with that,” she stammered as Kasa ran a finger along the girl’s cheek.
Kasa stood up. “Kleine, tell Kritis I’ll be right back.”
Kleine rolled her eyes with a resigned sigh, “Aye, aye, Captain.”
The serving girl took Kasa by the hand and led her to an unoccupied storage room. The room was filled with crates of what Kasa believed were various dry goods and spices, not that she gave it much thought. Her attentions were on the young, pretty redhead. The petite girl had a round freckled face, a cute nose, and very kissable lips of which Kasa immediately took advantage of. The two embraced in a feral lock of lashing tongues and hands clawing at encumbering clothes.
Kasa nimbly removed the girl’s bodice with a single pull of the drawstring and pulled her shirt over her head, revealing a pair of pale, perky breasts. The crimson pirate took each in a palm and teased the girls erect nipples while nibbling on the young woman’s supple neck. The girl cooed in satisfaction at each touch and arched her back as Kasa held her. Kasa’s tail weaved its way up the girl's skirt and teased her gently.
The girl moaned, arching backward, and running her moist tongue along Kasa’s pointed ear. Kasa returned the pleased moan, and her tail reacted to the sensation teasing the girl’s wetness further. The two went at each other for a good half an hour until the tavern’s cook came looking for some ingredients. The girl squealed in embarrassment and rapidly attempted to cover herself. Kasa simply smiled and asked if the cook cared to join them. Stunned, the cook turned and left the storeroom without a word.
Kasa got dressed and sipped the girl a gold piece, “I know how serving works in this kind of place, girl. This is for you and you alone. None of this goes to the house.” She then pulled out a few silvers, “If the owner comes calling for his cut, tell him this is what you got. You do not look like or act like the working girl type; don't let this be the reason you become one, either.”
“Thank you, ma’am”
“Captain, actually.” Kasa corrected while putting her sword belt back on.
“Oh, sorry… um, thank you, Captain.”
Kasa gave the serving girl, whose name she never learned, a wink and walked back out to her table where Kleine and Kritis were waiting.
“Just couldn’t help yourself, could you, devil slut?” Elenoren asked.
“I blame you for getting me riled up over Kritis, and the girl looked to tasty.”
Elenoren only laughed in reply.
“Looking at how light her step is, the feeling must have been mutual,” Kritis said, watching the girl exit the backroom, flushed with a very pleased expression on her face.
“Kritis, you know firsthand how good I am,” Kasa smirked. “Come, let's get you to the ship and introduce you to the crew.”
The three of them rose and exited the Bronze Anchor onto the streets of Darren Var.