Chapter 1417: Killer Move
Translator: Sean88888 Editor: Elkassar1
(Author’s note: The name Arathorn sounds similar to Aragorn because according to the plot, the two of them are related. They share a common ancestor.)
(TL’s note: I couldn’t find any Arathorn like that in the story. There’s Arathorn II, who’s the fifteenth Chieftain of the Dúnedain and Aragorn’s father; Angamaitë, an important figure amongst the Corsairs of Umbar; and the Captain of the Haven, who is a Black Númenórean and the ruler of the Umbar, but I couldn’t find an Arathorn who’s a Black Númenórean and the leader of the Corsairs of Umbar. So just treat him as someone the author came up with.)
The large galleys with triangular lateen sails had two major, defining features. The first was their triangular lateen sails that enabled them to move forward diagonally even when sailing against the wind. The second were the 24 long oars sticking out of their sides of the galleys near the waterline. When extra power was needed, men would be put at the oars to provide additional driving force for the ships.
These two major features gave the galleys great maneuverability, but they were also the cause of certain shortcomings – the existence of the rowers’ deck inevitably led to a vulnerability in the hull and a reduction in the allowable cargo weight.
The Dingyuan sped forward, leaving a trail of white foam in its wake. The first to reach the leading enemy ship was the fierce fire blown from the Dingyuan’s figurehead. It set the enemy galley ablaze, right before the Dingyuan recklessly crashed into the galley!
Following a loud and earth-shattering crack, the Dingyuan knocked the large galley’s broken mast and even its sailors 20-30 metres high as they burned fiercely. Screams of agony and fear could be heard everywhere!
As for the galley itself, the collision broke it in half, right down the middle!
Half the ship was washed away by the turbulent river flow and was stranded on the bank, while the other half crashed into a friendly ship nearby. The surviving pirates of the galley were frightened out of their wits. They tried their hardest to either climb onto the bank or onto other ships, screaming loudly.
After the initial attack was successful, the Dingyuan made a big turn on the Anduin River and accelerated again towards another galley. However, this time, the opposing ship managed to steer clear of the collision. The two ships narrowly passed each other by.
But right after the captain of the opposing ship had wiped away the sweat on his forehead in relief and shouted at his crew to jump onto the enemy ship to stab those bastards in the ass, he heard a series of loud thuds. It was the sound of the gun ports on the Dingyuan’s starboard side being lowered.
Twenty-four black-iron cannons went off at the same time. Pale blue smoke and a deafening noise immediately engulfed the entire section of the Anduin River. When the smoke dispersed, the Corsairs who were planning to leap aboard the enemy ship a moment ago were now rolling on the deck, bleeding and screaming!
When the Dingyuan steered around again, not only had the remaining three large galleys rowed aside in a hurry like they had seen a ghost, even the other pirate ships that were initially looking to profit from the situation were steering away from the warship in fear! No one dared to face the Dingyuan head on!
Sheyan knew that he had demonstrated enough of his power. Currently, the Corsairs were still holding themselves back due to their fear of Sauron. Sheyan must not push them too hard, lest he aroused their collective anger. The Corsair had hundreds of ships; as powerful as the Dingyuan was, if they all attacked together, she would have no choice but to run away.
More importantly, Sheyan did not come here to kill the Corsairs. He only wished to seize power and take control for a period of time. Sheyan judged that he was already quite close to achieving his objective. He only needed one last push to get there.
He stood on a boat on the Dingyuan and gestured at Taitish to lower it onto the river. The magical illusion of him reappeared, and his provoking voice was once again transmitted to all the uneasy corsairs.
“Arathorn!! Stop sacrificing your subordinates’ lives to save your own hide. Dare you come down and fight me? If you beat me, I’ll leave at once!”
Arathorn had already had his face slapped hard by Sheyan today, so his reputation had already taken a sharp plummet. Even if Sheyan retreated now without doing anything else, a mutiny would probably still break out within the Corsairs of Umbar. The pirates would surely question if Arathorn had the ability to lead the Corsairs going forward.
But now, while Arathorn was in despair, Sheyan suddenly threw him a life-saving rope by offering him a chance for a solo duel. Was that not a chance for him to salvage the situation?
A drowning man would even clutch at a straw if he saw one.
Therefore, Arathorn also jumped on a small boat and steered it towards Sheyan. From afar, he had already unsheathed his long, shiny sabre.
Sheyan smiled at Arathorn and spread his arms apologetically.
The next moment, Nanuke the gunner tore off the cover at the bow of the Dingyuan with a sinister smile on his face. He quickly jumped onto the unveiled the harpoon cannon, the Greenland Lethal Weapon. The enchanted harpoon loaded onto the harpoon cannon sparkled with a strange glow. In the blink of an eye, it shot forth and pierced through Arathorn’s chest!!
Arathorn was flung hundreds of metres back by the harpoon until it finally nailed him to the bow of his flagship behind him!! The water surged, and the flagship was pushed back for more than ten metres by the impact!
Arathorn struggled violently with wide eyes, as if he wished to say something, but when he opened his mouth, all that came out were blood and flesh pieces. His voice died in his throat. Life completely left his body soon after.
The Greenland Lethal Weapon was created specifically to hunt the monstrous beasts of the deep sea. Could Arathorn compare to those high-tier legendary creatures in terms of defence and HP? Obviously not!
This was Sheyan’s final push. He wanted to leave in all the Corsairs of Umbar an impression of someone who was powerful, shameless, cruel, cunning and unrestrained by rules!
If he was facing the Rohirrim cavalry, such an action would surely be scorned, but facing the Corsairs of Umbar, such an action would make them feel fear and awe! These were evil men, and they would only obey those who was stronger and more evil than they were!
The Anduin River continued to flow quietly. Arathorn’s blood dripped down onto the river, forming a pool of red below him. The Corsairs started congregating in several groups. They were truly afraid.
To garner respect by instilling fear and showing kindness.
That saying came to Sheyan’s mind. He was short on time, so it was probably impossible to make these pirates feel grateful by showing them kindness. Therefore, he could only make them obey by making them fear his power.
He reckoned he had done enough. He transmitted his voice to them through magic.
“Will you disobey the command of the Dark Lord too!!?? Stay here for three hours and destroy the city completely before you move to join the war! Do I have to repeat that again? The Eye of Sauron is watching you!”
This order, which was honestly in line with the interests of the Corsairs, was quickly accepted by them. Every corsair had received Sauron’s “oracle” before they came here, so they knew they had to fight in the war, but if they could delay in joining the war, that would be great. The best possible outcome was that, by the time they got to the battlefield, the war would already be over.
Sheyan knew that it was impossible to become the leader of the Corsairs of Umbar in this way. The reason they listened to him now was all because of his identity as Sauron’s messenger, and that was just a fake identity. There was absolutely no way they would submit to him just because of this.
Therefore, if he wished to give them an order, then it must be an order that all the corsairs would agree was beneficial to them.
This extent of authority was enough for Sheyan!
Half an hour later.
Sheyan was standing on a small lateen-rigged galley known for its speed. Although it was small, it was still equipped with 12 oarsmen. When the galley sailed along the current and the wind, and with all the oarsmen at the oars, it was no slower than a motorboat.
The ship, of course, was sponsored by the Corsairs of Umbar.
“….Yes, that’s it,” Sheyan told Taitish, “When I’m not here, you can still command those guys with the magical illusion, right? Yup, it’s that simple. Just do as I told you. You know the signal arrow on our ship? That will be our primary contact method. As soon as you see my signal arrow, initiate the plan. Ol’ Seadog, Redbeard, you two are the alternative options. If the signal arrow fails, I’ll use the method from before to contact you.”
In order to control the Dingyuan, Sheyan could communicate with the ship’s crew even if they were separated by different planes. That was his alternative contact method. By entrusting the task to three separate people, he ensured that his order would be carried out. Perhaps one person may get different ideas, but the chances of all three people having different ideas at the same time was close to zero.
After that, Sheyan left the Dingyuan on the small galley, moving up the river at high speed!
Of course he must grace the most happening place on Middle Earth right now with his presence!
If this war was a play, then the play had reached its climax. At such a time, how could Sheyan not be there?!
Hang in there, Reef. Hang in there, my companions!
Currently, on the vast Pelennor Fields at the foot of the city of Minas Tirith, a terrible, bloody storm was brewing.
The Orc army, although still fighting tenaciously, were being completely suppressed by the elite cavalry from Rohan. Under the leadership of Éomer, the powerful cavalry kept charging in and out of the Orc army in triangular formations. The Orc army had sustained a shocking number of casualties. Gothmog was severely injured. Of the nine Ringwraiths, only three were left!
But then, the Oliphaunt army of the Haradrim finally stepped onto the stage!! The Oliphaunt war beasts were all at least 10 metres tall, and could reach a running speed of more than 60 kilometres per hour. Sharp spears were tied to the long tusks of the Oliphaunts, and on their backs were solid fortresses made of wood, from which the Haradrim could hurl their arrows and spears down upon their enemies.
Even ten thousand heavy cavalry were no match for the terrifying impact of the Oliphaunts’ charge. The height of a war horse only reached an Oliphaunt’s ankle. The Oliphaunts’ long tusks and trunk were their natural weapons. An Oliphaunt need only swing its head, and it could make even a small hill collapse. War horses would just be trampled to death in large numbers in front of them!
Thirteen Oliphaunts charged in a neat row. Following behind them were the Haradrims’ chariots, spearmen and axemen. If the elite cavalry of Rohan were in their peak conditions, they might have had the strength to oppose the Haradrim, but even then, they would not have much hope of coming out victorious. And right now, the Rohirrim cavalry were already tired soldiers.
The tables were instantly turned. It was the dark side’s turn to beat up the enemies. The Rohirrim cavalry may be courageous, but under the circumstances, the more courageous one was, the faster one died. At this time, Éomer was the only major figure left leading the Rohirrim cavalry, and under the cooperation of the contestants, he was finally killed on the battlefield by a sneak attack.
However, right when the cavalry of Rohan was close to being wiped out, a surging torrent came from the distance.
It was a surging torrent of yellow and green!!
Leading the torrent on horseback was Aragorn, the returning king. His attire and appearance were a mess, and his face had been blackened by smoke. He had arrived late, but late was better than never, because the famous city of Minas Tirith, despite smoking and burning, had yet to be conquered.
As long as it was not yet conquered, there was still hope!
The Army of the Dead, which had been cursed to remain in Middle Earth for three thousand years, rushed into the midst of the Haradrim army. The Haradrim army may have powerful Oliphaunts, but the Army of the Dead were immune to physical attacks. The result of this battle was already determined from the very beginning.
Under the overwhelming attack of the Army of the Dead that came like a tidal wave, the Oliphaunts fell to the ground one after another whining and wailing, before turning into corpses. Zi and Aldaris tried to attack the Army of the Dead with magic. It worked. But the ghosts had cultivated for 3000 years; all of them had at least 100,000 HP. Even if magic attacks worked on them, how much would it help?
Fortunately, Sheyan had already expected this to happen, so he had explained to his party how to deal with this situation – and that was to go into hiding.
But where could they hide? They were on a plain. Were there any good hiding spots on a plain? Well, there was one, and that was the heart of the dark side’s camp – the Source of Darkness hall!
As long as there was one person still alive in that hall, it would remain an impregnable fortress. It was also the place where the attention of Sauron was directly focused on! The Army of the Dead would not dare approach the place at all!
Party Ace had questioned the assumption that the Army of the Dead would not dare approach the Source of Darkness hall, but Sheyan had given them a convincing reply:
“The Army of the Dead is so powerful, so logically speaking, shouldn’t good steel be used on the edge of the blade? Why doesn’t Aragon send them directly to Mount Doom to destroy the main base of Sauron’s Orc army while Sauron has not regained corporeal form yet? Is Aragorn an idiot? Of course not!”
“The truth is, Sauron has a secret identity called “The Necromancer”, which means he has the power to control the dead. His power is limited on the Pelennor Fields because this place is too far from him, but sending the Army of the Dead to Mount Doom would be akin to sending meat to the chopping block. That’s why the dead wouldn’t dare to approach the Source of Darkness hall either, because it’s the place where Sauron’s power is the strongest on the Pelennor Fields.”
(TL: In “The Hobbit”, when Sauron at last began to rise again, taking the stronghold of Dol Guldur, he was disguised as a dark sorcerer known as “the Necromancer”.)