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There was always something just a little bit off about their hostage. For a highborn girl, Gisele never screamed or cried as she was taken prisoner upon their ship. She didn’t even complain about the cell that she was kept in before the Captain cleared out one of the few cabins on the ship for her.

No one complained then, not when she was supposed to bring in a heavy ransom. Treating her right would only ensure that we got our money.

But it was right after she was moved that she started asking for things. Seaweed, shells, fish innards and the like, all sorts of strange things. All she had to say to get the men off her back was that they were things her maid used to tell her would help with keeping her skin pretty, relaxes her, or, her favorite excuse, to help with the monthly.

For pirates who enjoyed killing, they were absolute pansies when it came to female menstrual cycle. Then again, I didn’t know one man who could comfortably hear about it.

Gisele wasn’t fooling me though. Being a merchant’s daughter myself, before I decided dancing on the edge of a sword was more fun, I knew that half of the things she asked for didn’t do anything she said they were for. The seaweed was the only thing she hadn’t lied about but why would a highborn want the innards of various different fish? That was going to make her sick before it did anything of use.

Before I could gather any proof of my suspicions and take them to the captain, we found out the hard way why our little hostage was so calm. She wasn’t just a highborn lady. The bitch was a witch.

If there was one thing that we hated more than the law, it was witches. They were nothing but trouble and better off dead. But a witch isn’t very easy to tell apart from a normal person, there is no real identifier until they work some magic and Gisele…well, she worked the best magic she could have possibly worked in her situation.

She summoned one of the greatest sea monsters in all the oceans; the destroyer of ships and a thing of our very nightmares; the Kraken.

No one realized that it was her until the ship was already under attack. While the tentacles ravaged our beloved ship and dragged many of my comrades to Davy Jones, she walked out of her cabin as calm as ever.

I was struggling to free one of our life boats so that some of us could escape when I saw her. That blasted woman strolled through the chaos as if taking a Sunday stroll through a garden. When a tentacle came close by, she would reach out and pet it like a dog and it would pause for a moment, curl around her, and then set her in a safer spot!

No regular human was treated like that. A creature like the Kraken killed all who it touched. But when a witch summoned a monster for some purpose, it not only obeyed her but it would protect her. And Gisele was the only one safe on that ship.

Gisele smiled as the kraken did her work, even laughing as some of my brothers in arms were torn apart and flung out to sea. Oh, how I wanted to run a sword through her throat and listen to her laugh then but there was no way I was going to get near her. It was hard enough to stay alive and get as many of the crew onto the boat to escape as we could, killing the bitch was impossible.

She didn’t even care that some of us escaped. I swear that she looked right at me as we were lowering the boat to escape. There was a challenge in her eyes as we stared each other down, as if she was taunting me. I had been the only one who had suspicions about her and yet, I was helpless to stop her.

Come and get me if you can. That’s what her gaze said and I nearly jumped off the boat to do just that. It would be more proper for another woman to take her head than it would any of the men. They would give in to pleading and a few batting eyelashes. I wouldn’t.

Our other boat must have gone to her, the Kraken had been holding onto it long enough. But as I watched my home sink into the ocean and the Kraken disappear beneath the waves, I couldn’t see another boat. She could have used magic to go back home instead of the boat for all I knew.

But I knew what she looked like and I knew what circles she ran in now. The men would probably find another crew to join after they drank away their misery and terror but I had other plans.

I would return to my Father’s house, spinning a tale so tragic that he’d believe that his beloved daughter had barely managed to escape from fiendish pirates after three years of hell. I’d return to confining corsets and boring parties.

And as I returned to the high circles, I would take my revenge for the deaths of my friends.

Upon the Belikov name, I would destroy her as thoroughly as she destroyed that ship.


Next Creature: Leviathan