Kasa Brace, The Crimson Pirate

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Chapter 18

An hour later Kasa met with Kleine, Broen, Des, Kritis, and Elenoren. "So, the plan is simple for a reason: If it goes to hell, as most plans do, we can adjust on the fly," Kasa said.

"Captain, it is your job to captain the ship. I don't give a damn about the plan except for the fact that you are in it. Why can't Kritis and Broen do it?" Klein argued.

"They are, but the two of them alone can not handle that many guards. Besides she's my ship and my word is law. So can you do the spell or not?"

Kleine declined her head in surrender. "Yes, I can perform the spell."

"Lo' Threa, I'm not so sure about this plan."

"Broen, it's ’captain’ while we are on the ship, and it will be fine. Just a 300 foot leap of faith." Kasa gave the mite a reassuring smile. "Des, get us in position."

The young shifter nodded and spun the large wheel, adjusting the ship’s course. Kasa could sense the ship slide along smoothly with the wind and was pleased at how well the lad had come along with steering the vessel.

Moments later, Kasa, Kritis, and Broen stood on the plank looking down at the island below. A soft light shimmered over each of their bodies. The night was bright with the light of the full moon, and the features of the island could be seen clearly.

The ship hovered silently above the island, a dark shape melding with the night sky. Kasa surveyed the castle through a silver and bronze spyglass. Through the magnified lens, she could see the castle's arrangement. It was single square building surrounded by a wall. It appeared that the southernmost wall was closest to the building and possessed the least amount of illumination.

"Kritis, Broen: the south wall is our target, we want to aim a bit away from the castle to avoid being spotted."

"Are you certain this spell will work?" Kritis asked. "I'd rather not end this trip as a shattered heap of flesh and bones."

"Kleine is an extremely capable mage. I have complete faith in her skill over magic."

"My Le Chu will keep us safe."

Kleine rolled her eyes at Broen’s comment.

Kritis raised an eyebrow at the diminutive mite, "Le Chu?"

"That means his wife," Kleine answered dejectedly. "Captain, the spell is complete. It will function similarly to how the ship’s sails do. To slow your descent you will need simply expand your arms out from your sides,” Kleine told Kasa.

“Sounds good to me, You boys ready?” she asked with glee.

“As ready as I’ll ever be,” Kritis replied.

“Weeeeee! Me too!” Elenoren cheered excitedly.

“Yes, Captain,” Broen said, hefting up his spear.

“Well then, Kleine, keep a hovering position over the island. Once you see the signal, you bring her down there as fast as Devil’s Reaper will let you.”

“Aye, Captain.”

“Good,” Kasa said and leaped off the ship into the sky.

The rush of the fall was exhilarating, and Kasa found herself aroused by the sensation. She swirled around in the air playfully, the wind bellowing her dragon-skinned coat wildly behind her. Kasa rolled over to see Kritis and Broen descending behind her, their arms spread, falling at almost a snail-like pace. She laughed with glee before rolling over again and spreading her own arms.

The daring trio landed softly a half-mile south of the castle wall. Kleine’s spell had performed flawlessly, and Kasa found herself very impressed with her first mate.

“That was a rush; I’m soaking wet over here,” Kasa said as the others approached.

“Did you land in water?” Broen asked innocently.

Elenoren burst out laughing, “Even falling to your death gets you off?”

“Not as well as Kritis, but it’ll do,” Kasa retorted, beaming. Kritis just shook his head and started walking toward the castle.

“Wait, Lo’ Threa. I do not understand.”

Kasa smiled. “You’ll have to ask your wife about that one.”

Elenoren quietly giggled in amusement.

Captain Brace and company made their way through the dark woods surrounding the castle. Quietly, they crept up to the tall, stone brick wall. Kasa instructed Broen to scale one of the trees to spot any guards and use hand signals if he saw any. The nimble mite scurried up the tree as if he were a squirrel and returned a few moments later. He came to Kasa’s side and whispered in his native tongue. “There is a single guard in a small room off to the left.”

She nodded and withdrew a grappling hook and rope from her pack. Kasa moved as far to the right as she could and tossed the hook up over the wall. The grappling hook was coated in thick wax and landed with a barely-audible sound. If someone was not listening out for it, they would not have noticed it. The crimson pirate gave the rope a good tug to ensure that the line was secure, and then, with sure steps and grace, she silently scaled the wall

She quietly climbed onto the walkway and drew Blood Biter. Without hesitation she fired a bolt into the base of the guardsman's neck. The guard slumped to the floor with soft clatter of his armor. Kasa took a quick look around for other guards. Seeing that the coast was clear she signaled for the others. A few moments later, Kritis and Broen joined her on the wall’s walkway.

"OK, looks like there is a back entrance to the main building. Where do you think he'll have her?" Kasa asked.

Kritis stared over the small, sparse courtyard. "Well, that depends..."

"On what?" Broen asked.

"Whether or not he's the rapey kind," Kasa answered with narrowed eyes.

"Exactly; let's get inside and make our way to the upper levels. The guards appear to be very lax. My guess would be this is a cushy job and requires very little vigilance.”

“‘Cause who would attempt anything on a local baron with his own island, other than a red devil slut, a mite compensating for something, and madman with a talking sword?" Elenoren asked.

“Hush, you!” Kasa hissed.

Elenoren giggled in response. The trio used the grappling hook and rope to scale the wall down into the small yard. They crossed the yard and eased inside the unlocked door. The hall was lit by glow stones that provided a soft low light. Kasa took the lead, and they snuck their way through the castle unnoticed. They passed several guards milling about and managed to reach the upper levels without a confrontation.

The guard at the top of the stairs did not get a chance to cry out. With amazing speed Kasa surged forward, under the guard's outstretched arm and winding up behind him. She seized the guard in a sleeper hold and whispered, "Speak the truth and you will get to live. Do we understand each other?" The guard nodded, not making a sound.

"Where is the girl?"

"With the baron," he whispered.

"And that is?"

"Down the hall, through the large double doors. He... He is having his way with her...,” he said, breathing deeply, heavily, before interrupting himself. “You smell so nice.”

"Thank you, sweetie," Kasa said, turning him around to face her. She gave him a deep kiss and then jabbed him hard in the throat, causing him to fall unconscious.

"Remind me not to get on your bad side," Kritis joked.

"Isn't that the same as her good side?" Elenoren asked.

Kasa flashed a devilish smile in their direction. "A bit from one and a bit from the other, really. Broen, be a dear and tie this guy up."

The mite moved swiftly, binding the guard’s arms and legs, and then rolled him into a dark corner. A spine-tingling scream came from down the hall, and all three of them looked up in that direction. Kasa and Kritis looked at one another and said, “The rapey kind!” in unison. All three charged forward and burst into the room, weapons drawn, but their charge halted upon witnessing the event before them.

The baron was taking the screaming, crying girl from behind, one hand full of her auburn hair to wrench her head back toward him, the other hand holding a jeweled dagger at her throat, threatening to slice her open if she resisted. Apparently, the baron enjoyed having an audience, as there was six guardsmen in the room watching the rape take place.

Wide-eyed, the baron stopped his motion and held the girl close. “Who in the shadowed realm are you? Guards! Seize them!”

Kasa and Kritis both let out resigned sighs and said, “Shit…”

They were both aware that they had no other option but to comply. They could have easily taken the guards, but there was no way they could have done so before the baron killed the girl. They sheathed their weapons, removed their belts, and dropped them to the floor. Broen followed Kasa’s actions and placed his spear on the ground as well. The guardsmen immediately began pummeling them at the baron’s behest.

“This fool girl’s father must have sent you. He must be as bad at picking mercenaries as he is at playing cards,” the baron said. “Beat them while I finish my business and then throw them all in the cellar.”

Pure rage burned in Kasa’s eyes, and those shining, silver orbs stared death at the baron during the beating that followed.

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