– Fifteen sharks for a dead man’s chest! Yo-ho-ho! And a barrel of rum! – Ulukku sat on a rotting snag that stuck out of the water, and saluted the gulls flying over the sea with three huge hooks. The hooks were tied to a stick in such a way that they formed a kind of trident – a symbol of a sea deity, so Ulukku himself sometimes imagined himself no less than the ruler of the seas.
– Shiarshi, the harpoon into your drawbar! You can’t sneak around like that! – Ulukku almost fell off the snag, and now his shark face expressed everything that he thinks about the appearance of a comrade.
Shiarshi climbed out of the water completely and grinned rather amusedly. He never missed a chance to demonstrate his ability to move silently both underwater and out of it. Because of this, agents of the Great Underwater Empire of Triton often hired him for a variety of tasks, from a banal theft to missions such as this.
It could be said that Great Underwater Empire of Triton and the half-human, half-saw shark Shiarshi were a perfect match. To fight the “dry” (as the inhabitants of Great Underwater Empire of Triton called the terrestrial races), the empire needed those who could act in both elements – water and air. Obtaining ready-made weapons, valuables and resources through robbery was much easier than creating or digging something under the water column. Shiarshi had been ambitious ever since he could walk. He willingly took on all the contracts offered by the Underwater Empire, worked both alone and with a team. The current mission – the robbery of a large pirate ship – meant the use of brute force, so three mercenary sharks gathered on a tiny island in the middle of the endless water surface.
Brute force in the gang was personified by Ulukku and Dewell. The first Shiarshi did not like for his absurd, even by the standards of pirates, character and tendency to bawl obscene shanti with or without reason. Ulukku also had an annoying habit of thoughtlessly copying the habits of the “dry”, for example, carrying a small octopus on his shoulder, like land pirates carried parrots on their shoulders. It was easier with Dewell The Iron Hook. Most of the time, the great hammerhead shark was silent and busy sharpening and polishing its favorite weapon, the whaling harpoon.
– How far? – Dewell slightly turned his broad flat head towards Shiarshi.
– Two or three miles.
Dewell nodded silently and stepped off the island into the water. Shiarshi and Ulukku followed him. Three shark-men rushed towards the black sail looming on the horizon. Looting the loot is a great tactic favored by the Great Underwater Empire of Triton. This time, the sharks were supposed to rob a pirate ship and take from it not only a cargo of gold, but also a chest. The chest was kept in a safe, the lock of which was worked on by the best blacksmiths of Vallor, and Shiarshi, the Underwater Rogue, was on the team to crack it.
The attack on the ship went almost perfectly. Hook and harpoon dug into the side, the sharks climbed onto the deck and staged a uniform massacre there. The thick skin, sharp teeth, and lightning-fast reflexes of sea predators, combined with muscular arms and legs, made the fish-men veritable killing machines. While Dewell and Ulukku were engaged in their favorite meat grinder (Ulukku also managed to bawl some kind of pirate obscenity), Shiarshi slipped into the hold, broke open the safe and pulled out the coveted chest from it.
The pirate ship has joined the host of sunken ships at the bottom of the sea. The sharks had done their job and were heading towards the Great Underwater Empire of Triton’s capital. In Shiarshi’s hands was a small chest, on the lock of which only an experienced thief could distinguish traces of forced entry.