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13 Windsor

 Just the mentioning of the Yamato Shogunate made McLeod frown quite a bit.

"Aye, their shinobi are known as the best spies in the world. From recon to undercover work to assassination, they can do it all. During The War of Sages and Saints they out did all other intelligence gathering organizations by manifold and are one of the two reasons the Yamato Shogunate are so powerful, despite being the smallest and least populated empire."

"It is said that one of their best shinobi can even steal a living soul from the underworld. Although it is an a bit of a stretch, it just goes to show just how frightening they are." Added the charming woman.

"Good." Windsor placed his hands behind his back and looked at the duo. "Now despite being so impressive, why on earth does the Alliance know next to nothing about the Gutu?"

McLeod and the charming woman kept quiet, because they felt as if the answer would be a dangerous one. "I know you are all afraid to say it so I will. It's obvious that the Yamato are keeping information from us!"

"Hold on lad, I understand where you are coming from. You aren't the last person to say this nor will ye be the last, but let's calm down and think about this. What would those freaks gain from withholding information from us when they are also part of the Alliance?"

"McLeod, they might be part of the Alliance but keep in mind that they are still the most detached entity within. If we do gain something in this war they gain the least, but at the same time they would have lost the least amount of troops in proportion as well. So, if they didn't share the information they had on the Gutu, it can only mean one thing. They want us at the front lines to suffer as much damage as possible."

"Hold on there you witch, they would also be in trouble if we don't win this war so why would they deliberately do this? All the nations are in this together, so they are in the same boat as us."

"Are they McLeod? Look around and tell me." said Windsor.

McLeod looked at their ship and his frown worsened. Indeed their crew consisted of people from various nations, but McLeod could not see a single person from the Yamato Shogunate. In otherwise, the Yamato were not in the same 'boat' as they were.

Windsor smiled wryly and patted McLeod's shoulder. "Old friend, I know you like to see the best in people, but sometimes there is more than meets the eye, despite what we might want. I have heard from many of my uncles that the Shogunate is part of the Alliance in name only."

"Indeed, I have heard such as well, however Captain the Shogunate are men who value honour, and they are well known for following through with their word. So perhaps there is no need to worry." The charming woman stretched and yawned after speaking.

"My dear Siren. I have a question for you."

"Please go ahead Captain."

"If they are so honourable, then why do they have the best spies in the world?"

McLeod laughed as soon as he heard what Windsor said, it was indeed quite a good point, honour and espionage do not go hand in hand. Before the conversation could continue, warning sounds started ringing across the entire fleet. Then a panicked voice reverberated across the ocean.

"Enemy attack!"

...

Mountains are the goliaths of nature. A single mountain can act as the entire centerpiece for a terrain. Thousands upon thousands of creatures use mountains. Thus it would make sense for one to believe that a mountain was something that humans would look at in awe, yet for the Gutu, mountains were no different from glorified stepping stones.

Boom boom boom boom!

An army of Gutu warriors adorned in golden armour were performing a feat that would cause the other inhabitants of the Western Continent to open their mouths till flies enter.

Boom boom boom boom!

As if they were skipping along on a grassland, the procession of warriors were jumping from mountain top to mountain top. At the head of the procession was a child who looked around ten years old. The child's body was exceptional, barely a single flaw in sight. Eyes that were like the ocean, deep and unfathomable. Skin that shone with a lustre that made stars envious and a baleful aura that would put even the most well known of killers to shame. With beautiful short spiky hair, the young child at first glance looked like someone who would grow up into being a handsome young man.

Adorned in golden regalia, the child led the procession in their mountain jumping endeavor. Each jump covered at least 30 kilometers, yet no one even broke so much as a sweat. With a grunt, the procession made its last jump, this time lading on flat land.

Boom boom boom boom boom boom!

Like a barrage of missiles landing on an unsuspecting target, the procession completely destroyed the land beneath them. They were on the edge of a cliff, overlooking an ocean that stretched into the horizon.

The child, who had knelt when landing, stood up with a serious expression. As it stood, the natural energy in its surroundings seemed to resonate as it oscillated at a rate visible to the others.

"As expected of your highness. Even the zesa in the surroundings is obedient to you." said a large strong looking man. His uniform seemed a bit different to the others and he had the bearings of a leader.

"Hmph!" The child snorted and looked toward the horizon. After snorting once more in disdain, the child then look behind.

"There is no need for any of you to act. These are mere pests that don't need our attention."

"Yes your highness!"

The entire army did a kneeling salute.

"Rise, Masimba." said the child after some contemplation,

"Yes your highness." The strong man in unique armour, Masimba, replied and stood up at attention.

"Listen carefully, these foreigners are only probing us, thus there is no need to take them seriously. What were Imperial Father's orders?"

"Reporting to your highness! His majesty the Emperor requested us to make sure that none of the foreigners even step one foot on our land!" said Masimba.

"In other words we don't need to escalate it into a full scale battle. Hhmm. They should be thinking that this area would not have a powerful army to defend it, thus the forces they sent here would most likely be cannon fodder. A warning should suffice. I am far too lazy to engage in a pointless battle." The child yawned lazily. "I need to end this quickly and get back to training. Today was supposed to be the first day I slayed my first dragon." A twinkle appeared in the child's eye.

"Then how would your highness like to proceed?" questioned Masimba.

The child seemed to ponder for a moment before responding. "Hand me my bow and an arrow."

"Yes your highness." Masimba handed a small bow and arrow to the child. Masimba was well aware that this bow and the arrow were made from ordinary materials, but that did little to hide the expectation that was building up in his mind. Similarly, the warriors grinned viciously in anticipation of what was to come.

The child notched the arrow and pointed it skyward, toward the horizon. Then the arrow was pulled backwards. At first nothing occurred, but the oscillations that occurred before started happening, except this time they were much more intense. With the child as the epicenter, energy started gathering in large amounts. The waters in front started to boil as the temperature in the surroundings area started to increase.

All of the greenery within 5 kilometres started to dry up, eventually catching on fire. A raging inferno suddenly encircled the army, its flames reaching into the skies, yet the soldiers did nothing, they merely looked at the child, waiting for something. And their patience was rewarded.

Flash!

A tiny little flame lit up at the head of the arrow. At first the flame was barely noticeable, but as the seconds went on, the flame started to grow in size, and its nature started to change. From an ordinary red flame to a yellow flame with black outlines. The flame encased the entire front of the child, but it did little to alter the child's intentions. The child continued to greedily suck in energy from the surroundings, feeding it to the flame in front of it. Once the flame became the size of a wagon in stopped growing in size. What started changing was now the quality of the flame instead of the quantity.

The black outlines on the flame gained a purplish tint, giving the fire a more menacing look. The fire then started shrinking in size, until it was eventually the size of an adult's fist.

Who knew death could be so beautiful.

The warriors were all awestruck by what was happening. Despite the fact that the flame had reduced in size, it was now even now hotter. The soil beneath the group started getting baked but no warrior even so much as flinched. The inferno that was around the group suddenly disappeared. In its place a chill appeared, one that made the ground freeze over.

"It's ready." The child was now breathing somewhat irregularly but the excitement in its eyes was unmistakable.

Swoosh!

The child let go of the arrow. Like lightning the arrow launched from the bow, baptizing itself in the chilling flames in front of it and carrying them with it. What started as an arrow and a fist sized flame quickly changed into what seemed to be a yellow lightning bolt with purple black outlines which disappeared into the horizon.

"It seems my control of the nether essence is still weak." mumbled the child in discontentment.

The soldiers quickly felt their scalps go numb. What had just occurred was something even hundred year old fogeys in the royal family struggled to achieve, yet the child in front of them was actually disappointed by the outcome. This was the difference in standards! The difference in caliber!

Who here did not know that the child in front of them was a dragon in the body of a snake? A prodigy seen once every 10000 years. Such was the nature of the being in front of such a being. Just what will this child be like as an adult? This thought made every soldier swallow their saliva.

...

"Enemy attack!"

The trio immediately went into action at these words and readied the mana circulating in their bodies. Windsor used his binoculars to look ahead, only to see what looked like a shooting star of death headed their way. With just one look he could tell that this was no simple spell.

"McLeod! Fire phoenix! Maximum output! "Barked Windsor as he looked on.

"Aye Captain."

McLeod looked like a simple ruffian, but even Siren had to admit that he was a top class warrior. He was a well known fire user throughout the Western Continent thus when the crew heard that he was taking action their expressions eased up.

McLeod raised his hand into the sky, resulting in a magic circle forming above the ship. A phoenix covered in flames was birthed from the magic circle. The sheer heat it radiated outward made many a man cover their faces in fear of getting burned.

"Is that?"

"It's Lord McLeod's Fire Phoenix!"

"The main ship is taking action!"

"We are saved!"