Wizard! Chapter 485
Sailors sprang to help their fellow shipmates who were hanging onto the edge as the ship tossed and turned. Of course, they could only help if they themselves were not tossed off the ship.
Lorelei looked down at the eels behind them, watching. Were they waiting for sailors to fall into the sea and be food… or were they waiting for lightning to strike again? Lorelei supposed it could be both.
As another eel tried to worm its way up onto the deck, Lorelei shouted out. It was hard to control mana in the storm, and Lorelei wished she had brought her staff up with her- but she would probably just lose it overboard if she had. Her shout was just enough to gather some of the mana and direct it, sending some of the driving rain and other water toward the eel, shoving it off the deck before it managed to gain purchase by twisting around something.
Lorelei continuously used magic to repel the electric eels. Fortunately, they were easy enough to spot by the fluctuations of mana around them. She concentrated on those near the sailors. She wasn’t sure if they would attack the gevai themselves, but since the eels would likely shock them just by being nearby, it was not the best time to test.
Lorelei assigned a couple of the other gevai who were better at magic to holding off giant electric eels on other sections of the ship. If they could kill them, it would also be fine- but there were enough of them it was a constant chore just to keep them away from important parts of the ship. If there hadn’t been a storm, Lorelei’s own control of mana would probably be sufficient to cover the entire ship, but as things were she could only deal with one or two eels at any given moment.
The first electric eel was killed by a gevai who managed to obtain a spear. They hadn’t expected to be boarded by anything, so the weapons for fighting on deck hadn’t been conveniently placed. The sailor stabbed the spear into the eye of one of the giant eels, and even further. Then he just stood there, with the spear in the eel’s brain.
It took Lorelei a moment to realize what was going on, but when she did it took her only a moment to reduce the conductivity around the sailor and especially where his hands touched the spear shaft- or rather the water on the shaft, as wood barely conducted electricity. The sailor pulled the spear out of the electric eel’s cranium, and its electricity returned to arcing around itself for a few moments before slowly fading.
Other sailors had likewise taken to attacking the eels’ eyes. They knew how to fight, after all. The first eel had merely been higher up where they couldn’t attack the eyes. Harpoons proved to be more useful than spears- if they hit. It removed the shock that came from contact with the eels, though it lacked some of the force. Even so, a harpoon still had enough power behind it to kill an eel if the throw or shot was aligned properly.
Lorelei started to work on keeping eels away from those fighting- so they could handle them one at a time, and not have to worry about getting attacked from behind or the side. The eels were definitely attacking the sailors now- whether that had been their initial intention or not.
Even so, the eels were slain or retreated one at a time, until the only thing left to fight was the storm itself. Without the additional troubles, they managed to wait it out until the waters returned to something resembling calm.
With that, they took stock of the casualties. Two sailors could not be found- likely thrown overboard and unable to make their way back up for any of a number of reasons. Another half-dozen were injured, from bite wounds to burns from being shocked. They would probably survive- even though one of them was missing an arm along with a chunk of his torso. If the giant electric eels hadn’t shown up at such a time, they would have been easily handled. On the other hand, Lorelei suspected they only showed up precisely because it was a storm.
The ship hadn’t gotten off unscathed either. The hull merely had a few scratches here or there- nothing had intentionally punctured it, so it held. One smokestack was ruined, but it could function just fine as an empty hole, if necessary. The railings were damaged at various points, but those were easily repaired.
The only real problem was the paddlewheel. Though it hadn’t been active, the waves had still spun it… and a giant eel had tried to climb up that way. That ended up with it getting tangled up in the workings and causing significant damage.
As it was, it couldn’t even rotate properly, even ignoring the fact that the damaged parts wouldn’t push significant amounts of water. That meant the ship couldn’t go anywhere except with the tides.
The men looked to Lorelei for a plan. “What should we do, my queen?”
Lorelei raised an eyebrow, “What do you mean? Detach it and start lifting. I can’t take a good look at that thing with it down in the water.”
The paddlewheel was a giant construction of metal. It wasn’t the sort of thing that could be move with just manpower- assuming that meant humans. However, gevai weren’t humans, and well trained gevai were extremely strong. It still took most of the crew, with a few rows holding onto those in front of them to provide more weight to counteract the paddlewheel. Even so, they managed to detach it and pull it up onto the deck.
Lorelei looked it over. Metal was strong, but the problem it had was after a certain point it bent… and then it wouldn’t bend back. Pulling metal back to straight might just snap it instead. The paddlewheel was well and truly mangled. Even the best smiths would likely have to melt it down and forge a new one. However, Lorelei wasn’t a smith. She was an Archmage. “All right, everyone find something useful to do. Maybe check to see if that eel is edible or something. I need to fix this.”