William left the dwarven lands with little more than a promise that they would have negotiations in the future and a formal declaration that the dwarves were still very upset at the gevai for their ancient crimes- and destroying a fragment of the Demon King hardly made up for it.
He couldn’t say his efforts were a complete failure. He’d found and destroyed a fragment of the Demon King, and learned about another. More importantly, that they had dealt with soul necrosis, so he couldn’t just wait for them to die and hope they didn’t reincarnate. William just worried that there might be more who had done that, or would. That said, any fragments that hadn’t been reincarnated already would be outside of the normal time period of one to two gross years. He wasn’t sure if it was a hard limit, or just the most probable option.
As for the relations with the dwarves… at least they had spoken. Expecting instant trust would have been too much. As it was, promises to at least have formal diplomacy between them was something worthwhile. They even supplied the ships with more food and coal for the return journey- though getting a dangerous military group out of their territory was a benefit to them as well.
William thought about leaving a phone- month long trips through extremely dangerous waters didn’t make for good diplomacy. However, he only had the one, and he wanted to have it in case anything happened on the journey back. Besides, it was best not to give the dwarves new technology if he didn’t have to. They weren’t formally at war, but they were formally not-at-all-friends.
William awoke to shouts of alarm. He was up even before one of the sailors came to knock on his door. He threw open the door and ran past the sailor out onto the deck. A casual observation of the area with his ki senses told him he couldn’t wait. It was impossible to miss the threat.
Even in just that short time, he saw a pair of giant tentacles wrap entirely around one of the smaller ships. In the moonlight he could see gevai stabbing into the tentacles, and he heard cannons firing from the ship- though he couldn’t see if they did any damage. The ship was not alone in its plight either. Two more ships were entangled by massive tentacles.
William saw harpoon guns being fired and cannons being loaded. Most of the cannons weren’t fired because they were worried about hitting the other ships, and William agreed with that.
Then with a great cracking and the sound of rending metal, one of the ships started to collapse as its center was crushed by the tentacles surrounding it. William didn’t know how much power it would take to so thoroughly destroy the magically enhanced structure of the ship- but it was a scary thing to think about even from a distance- let alone when watching it happen.
William started chanting. They were going to need everything they had to defeat it, and for that he would need magic. He wasn’t going to try to fight it by hitting it with Chris. The tentacles were a half dozen yards wide at some points, and the massive body underwater… well, he wouldn’t try to fight a normal sized squid with a toothpick.
Details on krakens were rare- that was to be expected, because most people didn’t survive meeting them, and certainly weren’t in the state to take good notes. However, one thing that was clear was it more closely resembled a squid than an octopus. As a start, it had more than eight tentacles… and there were some of different lengths and shapes.
As the two halves of the ship sunk into the water, numerous smaller tentacles- only a couple feet across at most- curled around gevai and pulled them into the water… toward the kraken’s mouth down below. William couldn’t do anything about it- a few seconds wasn’t enough to gather the sort of mana necessary to defeat the creature.
Then he saw tentacles trying to wrap around the fortress ship he was on. Unlike the smaller ships, the tentacles couldn’t quite reach all the way around… and the fortress ship had stronger defenses and a magical barrier protecting the deck. Even so, the tentacles slipped along the barrier that had no grip, trying to get a hold. Then they started slamming into it, seeming to ignore the damage to themselves… or perhaps it was so little as to easily be ignored.
One of the larger tentacles broke through the barrier, slamming down onto the deck. William dodged it, but when it pulled back the flailing tip of it wrapped around him and pulled him off of the deck. William briefly found himself flying through the air, and then in the water.
He couldn’t see anything, but he could feel the tentacle coiling around him, more than covering him from head to toe. He had just enough time to wedge Chris widthwise in front of him, keeping the tentacles from pressing into him. Even so, they squeezed down with great power… and continued toward him. Chris hadn’t broken, or even bent- but instead the tentacles were impaling themselves on him.
While he still had a semblance of breath, William released the mana he had gathered and was channeling through Chris. There wasn’t much he could do except hope that the lightning would disrupt its grip and make it let go. He couldn’t really tell the effects, but the tentacle continued to move closer. William gathered ki as quickly as he could, though he didn’t have much time before the kraken would be crushing his bones into paste- he knew he wasn’t as strong as a ship.
At the last possible moment before he would be turned into paste, William used all the ki he had gathered to launch a soul attack- the kind meant to sever the soul and body. That was easier than destroying a soul, and even if he succeeded at a soul destruction he didn’t want to be anywhere near it. Perhaps it wouldn’t be a problem- the soul wasn’t necessarily that strong on its own- but it was well entrenched into the massive flesh that made up the kraken.
The tentacle’s grip loosened, and William and Chris swam free. William used his ki to feel for the surface, finding it to be quite some distance away… especially since he was nearly out of air.