Zero could see the stormy clouds beneath them. Black clouds like he never seen before. The boy was glad because he wasn?t sailing on the sea but on the air instead, because judging by the size of those storm clouds, a pretty messy storm will appear in a matter of minutes. He leaned forward to try to see the sea beneath him, but the clouds were too thick to see trough. The young pirate decided to leave this be and return to his everyday?s work, cleaning the deck.
Being a pirate is a good life, so he didn?t complain. After all, he had a lot of money with him everywhere he went and the food wasn?t so bad. A warm bed, money in his pocket and a life filled with adventure was nothing to complain about. After all, he had a good captain with bad reputation. Blackmane was a good man and a fearsome enemy. Unlike many other pirates, he treated his crew very well and wasn?t abusing his status on this ship. Most man feared him for many reasons, such as the old legend Zero heard about the first night on the ship. It was said that Blackmane is the only man who went to hell on his free will and returned back in one piece. Ever since then people fear him, pirates respect him and common citizens and peasants dare not speak his name.
As he was cleaning the deck, Zero thought about his life. He was born on this ship and rarely ever walked on the ground. Most of his childhood he spent by watching clouds and raiding other ships, pirate or not pirate. Looking back, he was a bit sad for never knowing his parents. From what he was told, Blackmane took him in as his own son since his parents died in battle. Nevertheless, Blackmane forbid him to call him father or at least sir. It was a formality and Zero understood that.
His neck was hurting him so Zero raised his head and looked up at the skipper?s hut. There stood Caleb, the ship?s skipper and Zero?s best friend. Caleb was also the ship?s clown, not by profession, but for being clumsy and sometimes lost in time and space?literarily. Nevertheless, Caleb was the best swordfighter on the ship and gave the Black Nanny a pretty damn fearsome reputation.
Pirates use to avoid close combat battles and prefer just to blow their enemies up by canons and magic. That?s why Ghast is here. A tall bold spell caster is not only the best chef of the Seven Clouds, but is also the master of ranged combat. While he was a child, Zero feared Ghast because of his size. Ghast was taller than any other normal human, some even say that he is half-giant, but Ghast never confirmed that rumors. Back in the day when Zero asked him where?s he from, Ghast just replied by saying ??somewhere far far away.??.
Then there is Angel, the ship?s lunatic. Zero never knew why Angel was traveling with them for most of the time he just jumped around the ship imitating all kinds of people and animals. When he wasn?t doing that, he was looking in his red sphere for hours, ignoring everyone else, which was quite useless during the battle. Most enemies just lost their will to fight him and just left him be.
Yes, with a crew like this one who could ever be bored?
If the crew isn?t a good reason for someone to stay aboard the Black Nanny then the ship itself definitely is. The Nanny is one of the biggest ships of the Seven Clouds. Biggest and fastest, with loads of cannons to fight with and professional crew, the Nanny got the reputation of one of meanest ships in existence, but Zero knows that there is far more than it meets the eye.
The Black Nanny is no ordinary ship, and its crew is no ordinary crew as well. Ever since the crew accepted Zero as one of them he heard many tales about this ship, and one of the most mysterious ones is the tale about Nanny?s origin.
Ghast told him that Blackmane was the captain of the government?s battle ship, many many years ago, but that he lost his ship in battle. He was the only survivor and he sailed the clouds for many weeks, searching for a new ship. That is when he saw it. The Gateway of Fire, also known as the Devil?s Jaws, a door to hell. The rest of the tale is shrouded in mystery and it looks like every member of the crew has his own version, but they all end the same way. Blackmane tricked the Devil and stole the Black Nanny from him.
Blackmane denied those rumors and said that he bought the ship from the local voodoo from Skullcap Island. He paid a fair price and got a fair ship for it. His version of the story brought disappointment to some crew members so they just decided to ignore it and continue telling their stories about the Nanny?s origin.
Not regarding this story, Zero feared walking around the ship in the night. The Nanny had nine floors and the crew was allowed only to use the first three ones. The other six were meant for captain only. The first floor was the common room where members of the crew slept. On the second floor was the kitchen and the dining room and the third floor was the gym along with prison cells. The weird part is that although captain slept with his crew on the first floor, captain?s quarters were never seen, like they didn?t even exist, although Blackmane used to say that he is going to the quarters and would disappear for one whole day. Like many others, Zero suspected that Blackmane?s quarters were on the lower floors, deeper in the ship.
The ship was made of black wood, as black as coal, and the lanterns which they used to see while walking around the deck in the middle of the night were enchanted and were producing green light. Every new member of the crew was keen on asking Blackmane why they use green lights instead of normal lights and that green lights might attract enemies. As always, Blackmane gave him that mysterious look he gives to all new members of the crew when they ask him about something they shouldn?t know anything about and said ??It is not to attract enemies but to keep them from leaving.??.
There were three masts on the ship. One had a skipper hut and that?s where Caleb worked. At the very front of the ship was a huge wooden statue of a lady dressed in a dress with arms reaching in front of her. Half of her face was skeletal and she had long hair covering her shoulders and her right, non-skeletal, part of the face. That was the Black Nanny.
Zero?s cleaning was interrupted by a sound of footsteps approaching him. There grew harder and harder, nearer and nearer, until Zero finally turned his head and saw Ghast standing behind him. The tall chef looked menacing from this angel and he had no shirt on but a black leather jacket instead, so long that it was touching the floor with every step he made. Zero glared at his small narrow eyes not sure whether to speak first or let Ghast say what he needs to say.
?? The captains wants to see you.?? said Ghast. It sounded more like yawning than talking, but it was to early for Zero to argue with Ghast.
??What about??? Zero was curious. He was hoping that Blackmane told a bit more to Ghast than just to get him, but knowing Ghast, he was just wasting his time so he finally said, ??Don?t mind. I will go and see what he wants.??
Zero slowly stood up and walked towards the stairs which led to the lower levels. While walking, he felt strange mix of curiosity and mystery. Captain Blackmane never sent anyone to get him, but he rather done himself. This time it was different. Although he knew that he didn?t do anything wrong, Zero couldn?t shake of that feeling that from here on his life will never be the same again. Some people call that d?j? vu, some future sight and some just premonition
He could hear Calbe yelling at Angel for ignoring him, which he was keen on doing, and Ghast chanting something and whispering into the air. Zero couldn?t just keep going on until he found out what Ghast was doing, since his spells were quite amazing. The tall bold figure wearing black leather leaned over the deck, looking at the storm clouds below and chanted something in a language Zero was sure no one but captain Blackmane and Ghast understood.
This was magic and Zero was sad because he didn?t know any. Ghast raised his hand and pointed it to the storm clouds, chanting something louder and louder, until his whole body started glowing in blue color and the Nanny started to shake. Caleb grabbed the mast as hard as he could, Angel grabbed a rope with a lazy move of his hand and Zero stuck his short sword deep into the deck trying to make it good to hold on too. He knew what was going on because he saw it before.
The ship started to shake harder and harder. Zero could hear Caleb yelling, ??Not again!??, just a few seconds before the flash. White light flashed into Zero?s eyes and all went silent. There was no Black Nanny, no Angel, no Caleb nor Ghast. There was only Zero, stuck in the Great Nothing.
Suddenly, Zero could feel the deck beneath his feet. He left the empty void just to find himself in another one, a different one, filled with stars which were rapidly fast circling around the Black Nanny. For a moment he felt lost but then he remembered where he is and what?s going on. Ghast just preformed something called Space Jump, a spell only few can use and only if the special requirements are complete. Space Jump is a way to transport any object to a large distance in a matter of minutes, a skill Ghast used only when captain Blackamne told him to and only for either escaping the stronger enemy or in need to get somewhere really fast. Zero remembered when Ghast told him all about Space Jump.
??There are three requirements that you need to fulfill before using the Space Jump. The first one is to make sure there is nothing in front of you because you don?t want to bump into someone before entering the Great Nothing. The second one is to make sure you?ve got enough energy that is why we use Space Jump only when there?s a storm below us. By extracting the lightening energy from the storm clouds I can harden the ship and save enough energy to use Space Jump. The third requirement is to???
??Zero.?? I suddenly saw Caleb standing above me and realized that I?ve must have fainted. This happened a few times after during Space Jump. Ghast says that it is just the way how traveling through space effects some people.
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