Fedley Senbaud, a two-star gold rank ex-pirate who had been forced to serve House Norton during one of Lorist's expropriation missions and eventually pledged allegiance to Lorist, was the commander of the Oceanic Legion.
When the empire's civil war first broke out, Senbaud was merely a one-star-silver-ranked garrison squad leader. After the First Prince declared rebellion, he became one of the company leaders of some suicide troopers at the front lines. It didn't take long for him to be abandoned in the midst of battle due to his injuries. He managed to slay two enemies before getting injured, By the time he regained consciousness, he realized there was nothing but corpses all over him.
Lord Gunmock's corpse was not far away from him on the battlefield. He was shocked to see him lying there. Sir Gunmock was one of the most renowned gold ranked knights at the city Senbaud served at as a garrison squad leader. Rumor had it that Gunmock would break through to the three-star gold rank soon. Whenever he passed through the city gates, Senbaud had to offer his greetings. He was ignored every time. Senbaud really didn't think that a person of such caliber would perish on the battlefield just like that.
As he dragged his injured leg with him while he crawled towards the corpse of Sir Gunmock, he saw that a crude crossbow bolt had pierced the neck of the dead man. Senbaud was dumbstruck at the thought that a gold ranked knight had died on the battlefield just like that: from a stray crossbow bolt. He hadn't even been given the chance to use his abilities.
Since the two could be considered to be from the same hometown, he dug a ditch within which to bury Gunmock, lest his body be mutilated by wild birds and beasts. As expected, when he searched the corpse, he found that the dead man was actually a walking treasure trove. His stainless steel, full-body armor, was undamaged as Gunmock had died from a bolt straight to his unprotected neck. Senbaud couldn't help but wonder what kind of unspeakable sin one had to commit to deserve such an unlucky ending.
The corpse also had a sack filled with roughly four hundred imperial gold coins and several other precious gemstones. There was even a golden bracelet which still had bloodstains on it in the sack. It seemed that during the past two days occupying the small town nearby, Sir Gunmock had profited quite a bit.
The thing that he was the happiest about was his discovery of a high-ranked battleforce manual within the sack Sir Gunmock carried with him. The battleforce attribute of the manual was the same metal type as his own. Flipping open the manual titled 'Metaltemper Battleforce', Senbaud discovered that one of Sir Gunmock's ancestors was a blademaster who had unfortunately perished in battle during one of the empire's invasion attempts on the trade union.
The blademaster had recorded his insights and realizations in the Metaltemper Battleforce manual. It was to be passed down as a family heirloom so that his descendants would not have to go through trial and error in their battleforce training. It was a shame that nobody in the family after him had the same metal attribute battleforce, save for Gunmock. Even so it was still a shame; he had only trained to two-star gold rank at the age of 50. He was simply too lustful and greedy.
Now that Senbaud had stumbled upon such treasure, he decided to become a deserter. He found himself two strolling horses whose owners had died, stripped Gunmock naked as a newborn baby, and loaded the goods on one of the horses before taking his leave.
As the company leader of some of the suicide troops, he was privy to information on a portion of the battle plans, intelligence, and contingencies. He was a rather intelligent man; he didn't head straight home. It wouldn't take long for him to be forcefully reenlisted and placed on the battlefield once more. He traveled to the coast with his two horses instead and built himself a small grass hut in the wilds not far away from the Sea of Grief. He would hunt for a living and occasionally travel to a small town not too far away to buy some food. The rest of his time he would spend training in the Metaltemper Battleforce. In times of war, the key to survival was to have a well-trained body.
Sometimes Senbaud felt that he was like one of those protagonists in the chivalric novels he read. Now that he had his fortunate encounter, his time to shine would soon come. Three years later, the 27-year-old finally broke through to the three-star silver rank, on his birthday no less. Just as he was on the way back from purchasing some alcohol to celebrate, he stumbled upon an unconscious beauty and brought her back with him. Just like something directly out of a novel, that beauty described her life which was full of drama and grudges when she awoke. There was a bandit lair around two days' travel from the place Senbaud lived. Actually, it would be more accurate to call it a pirate lair. The men there often raided at sea and seldom operated on land. That was why he wasn't aware that he was the neighbor of pirates all this time.The beauty was, in fact, the daughter of the original head of the pirates, who had been killed off by the second and third heads of the group because he divided the spoils unequally. At first, the third head even wanted to take the beauty as his wife, but the men that were loyal to the beauty's father ambushed the third head when he was about to force the beauty to sleep with him. After that, all hell broke loose. During the conflict, the beauty was injured. She managed to escape, but was pursued. In a fit of panic, she ran as fast and far as she could, before fainting in the middle of the road where Senbaud coincidentally met her. Thus, Senbaud drew his sword for the sake of the beauty and helped her travel along the path of vengeance. He had heard that the pirates originally had four silver ranked fighters among their ranks. The beauty's father was a two-star silver rank, the second and third heads, as well as a man referred to as Uncle Torin, were one star silver ranks. It was uncle Torin who had brought some others to ambush the third head. At the time, only the one star silver ranked second head remained. Senbaud felt that it would be stupid of him to not take that opportunity to intervene. All went according to plan and Senbaud was able to triumph over the second head, helping the beauty exact her vengeance. The remaining pirates then took him as their leader. With the aid of uncle Torin, he rebuilt the lair of the pirates and took the role of their boss with the beauty as his wife and mistress of the lair.
Ten years had passed in a flash and Senbaud already had two sons and one daughter. He lived a mostly blissful life, but his career was a little lackluster. As the pirate boss, Senbaud understood the principle of 'the early bird gets the worm, but the early worm gets eaten by the bird'. That was why he had always been extremely careful when it came to raiding at sea. Whenever he decided to act, he would only do so against smuggling ships or ships that sailed astray from their fleets, without ever touching those belonging to large merchant guilds or nobles. He also never flaunted the wealth he got from raiding.
The pirate lair had developed much during the ten years and began to resemble a normal fishing village more and more. Its population was already reaching 1000 people. Senbaud didn't only focus his attention on raiding, he also recruited vagabonds to begin farming and tending to livestock at the wastelands near the hills. As a result of his foresight the pirates no longer had to rely on trading with the outside world for food. He also had the elderly, women, and children gather firewood, boil seawater for salt, and even formed a small trading convoy to trade their surplus salt, and raided goods for some other resources the fishing village needed. When there was an opportunity, he would set sail to take it. At other times, he would live an honest life fishing and tending to his home. His life was one filled with relaxation and freedom. But he was aware that even if he managed to disguise the pirate lair as a fishing village, they were not completely safe. There wouldn't be a problem during times of war when others were out killing on the battlefield. But when the situation stabilized, dominion lords or standing armies would be well within their rights to act against the lair. By then, the scene of peace before him would instantly turn to one of blood, fire, and ash. Additionally, the location of the pirate lair wasn't that well-hidden. There were many outsiders who knew of the place, and the terrain wasn't particularly dangerous. It was situated at the coast at a rural and hilly area. The local dominion lord didn't care much about the lair since the pirates didn't raid his dominion in the first place. These hills were considered a part of Count Seleih's dominion. Count Seleih used to be a division leader of the former empire's army, but he followed Duke Lormo during the civil war of the empire and helped him establish the Lormo Duchy. Thus, he was promoted from a baron to a count and given the piece of land he currently occupied. There were three villages and one town in Count Seleih's dominion, but most of them were congregated within its southern area. The northern area of his dominion was mostly wastelands, forests and tidelands.
It had been two years already since Senbaud first got in touch with the count. He had hoped to obtain recognition from the noble, and to legalize the existence of his fishing village. For that, he was willing to become the knight of the count and was also ready to pay a huge sum in taxes. However, Count Seleih was often absent from his own dominion because he served by Duke Lormo's side. Senbaud's letter ended up in the hands of the supervisor of the dominion appointed by the count, who looked down on Senbaud's pirate background and didn't care for his three-star-silver-ranked battleforce. His master was a gold ranked knight, after all. What the supervisor was concerned about was how he could increase the income of his lord. But, Senbaud would never accept a tax rate higher than 65 percent, and wouldn't accept the supervisor's request to send some men to operate at the fishing village so that the tax collection process would be easier. The baseline for Senbaud was a tax rate of 50 percent, which would be paid by the fishing villager themselves without any intervention. But the supervisor was not willing to accept those conditions, he even threatened to have the count send troops to deal with them. As a result, Senbaud barked back and said that should the forces of the count ever come, he would drop all pleasantries. He would fight the count's forces in a nearby hilly area. He wondered how high a price the count was willing to pay to wipe them out. Senbaud also said that, as long as they existed, they would raid the villages and towns. It was entirely within their ability to render the count's dominion useless. And so, the two parties arrived at a stalemate. They could do naught but pay attention to one another warily. The supervisor could only shut one eye when it came to the trading convoy of the fishing village and allow the convenience of trading within the town and villages. Senbaud on the other hand would send the supervisor and Count Seleih a tribute during festive seasons. So far, the two sides managed to get along peacefully.
Things began to change, however. Senbaud had broken through to the one star gold rank. Count Seleih, who was far away, at the capital of the Lormo Duchy, heard about it and wrote a personal letter to Senbaud. He expressed his willingness to take Senbaud in as a knight of his house, and said that he would let the fishing village become the manor of a gold ranked knight like Senbaud. Naturally, Senbaud would have to construct the castle or the manor himself, as the count was short on funds. Despite that, there were obvious benefits to Senbaud becoming a knight of Count Seleih. In doing so, the folk of the fishing village would be considered citizens of Senbaud's manor, and they would only have to pay a tax rate of 30 percent. However, Count Seleih also stated that he would require Senbaud to go to the capital of the Lormo Duchy to do his bidding by his side. The count said that the moment Senbaud arrives at the capital, he would knight him on the spot and elevate his status. For Count Seleih, taking in a gold ranked knight was really different from taking in a Silver ranked knight. Silver ranked knights were common as clouds, but gold ranked knights were few and far in between. It was such that the count was even willing to overlook Senbaud's background as a pirate. In the battleforce-driven world of Grindia, it was as Senbaud had thought: training hard to get a high battleforce rank was the key to survival in the chaotic times of war.
After pondering for a month, Senbaud accepted the count's invitation to become a knight of House Seleih. However, he couldn't just leave immediately, he had much to do before he could go, such as picking a suitable place for the construction of his castle. Back then, he only thought of first defining the boundaries of the castle and building a makeshift stone building and a moat there since he didn't yet have the financial capabilities to build a proper one immediately.
Once, Senbaud received a letter from the count's supervisor. It stated that the count's 50th birthday would be in 20 days, and that the count hoped that he would be able to knight Senbaud on the day as well to add another layer of joy to the celebration. The supervisor didn't fail to remind Senbaud of the count's hobbies, implying that he should bring the count a generous gift for the occasion. But not only was Senbaud not well off, he didn't have anything that suited the count's taste. That was why he turned his sights back to the sea, hoping that he would be able to profit off raiding once more before heading to the capital of the Lormo Duchy to become Count Seleih's knight. He hoped his wife and children would be able to live better lives after his departure to the capital.
When he spotted a weird-looking ship, he was in for a life changing event. He brought two armed ships carring around 330 pirates in total. There were roughly 100 pirates who boarded the weird-looking ship. They filled the deck up completely. There he met Count Norton Lorist, dominion lord of the Northlands and Silowas Island. Lorist declared that Senbaud's ship and crew have been expropriated for his use. After that, he pointed directly to Senbaud and said, "Hmm, you seem pretty good. From now on, you'll be the squad leader of my marine assault vanguard."
His refusal resulted in Lorist toying with Senbaud, a gold-ranked knight a rag doll for half an hour. He had been unable to put up the slightest resistance. The moment Senbaud was knocked off his feet and fell onto the deck, his men rushed to his aid right away. It was then when Lorist spent less than ten minutes beating them all down on his own. Lorist had said that from that moment on, their lives no longer belonged to themselves, they belonged to him.
Senbaud's 8-year-old son was to be taken as Lorist's disciple and serve as his personal atttendant when he turned 16. Lorist had Howard give him the training routines he used to use so he could work on it as well.
Initially, Senbaud thought the position of the squad leader of the marine assault vanguard was nothing more than a glorified title for suicide squad captain. However, when they were raiding, or rather, expropriating ships at the Sea of Grief, Senbaud realized that Lorist rushed into battle even sooner than he did. Many times, Lorist could subdue a whole ship all by himself. Most of the time Senbaud’s job was to clear up Lorist’s mess. His tasks ranged from deciding on the expropriated ships’ quartermasters, restructuring the crews, and capturing the prisoners. Lorist had even praised his resourcefulness a few times.
Senbaud was working hard to eventually become a knight of House Norton now, but it wasn't going too smoothly for him. Even though a gold-ranked swordsman would be more than welcome to enter the ranks of the knights of most other noble houses, it wasn't the same for House Norton. It prized achievements and contributions the most, though hard work could also be an acceptable substitute for stellar performance. Without one of those, however, one would not be accepted as a knight of the house. However, after taking a quick stroll around the dominion of the Nortons, Senbaud had resolved himself even more. He wouldn't join any other house, even if they came over to invite him, after what he had seen. Based on the eight manors built for the house’s gold-ranked knights at Salus Settlement alone, Senbaud was already filled with desire. The facilities of the manors were complete and not lacking in the slightest. They even with servants and workers already in place. Each year, the manors would produce at least 500 to 800 gold Fordes in profit. It had to be noted that Senbaud only earned around 100 gold Fordes annually from toiling away and risking his life as a pirate. But now, even before he was a gold-ranked knight, he was receiving a salary of ten gold Fordes a month, which was more than enough for his wife and children to live comfortable, even luxurious lives.
At noon on the 21st day of the 6th month, Senbaud's fleet left Silowas on a trip back to the Northlands.
When the Hanayabarta Kingdom invaded Silowas Island, Freiyar suggested that we mount a naval attack against the enemy. That way, we would be able to give the island more time to prepare. He ordered Wilson to seek out Senbaud, who had just left, and have him come back to reinforce them.
By the time Wilson reached Senbaud's fleet, it was already midnight. He gave the order to turn back and reinforce Silowas immediately. But the morning of the next day they ran into four ships from Freiyar's fleet that managed to break out of the encirclement. Freiyar had commanded 30 ships to receive the attack and managed to destroy more than 50 enemy ships, but the four that escaped were the last ones that remained. Freiyar had suffered heavy injuries. Freiyar had intended to intercept the enemy, but the enemy sent 100 ships to hinder his fleet, allowing the remaining ships to continue sailing to the island. Freiyar's fleet managed to break out of the encirclement. Freiyar had commanded 30 ships to receive the attack and managed to destroy more than 50 enemy ships, but the four that escaped were the last ones that remained. Karitoke hauled Freiyar back. Karitoke later ordered them to break the encirclement. But right as they were about to leave, Karitoke was struck down by the enemy blademaster.
Senbaud ordered the four ships that escaped to travel with his fleet. They managed to arrive at Silowas, however, by the time they got there, flames and smoke filled the skies of the island. The enemy's ships were docked at the southern coasts. Even though they fought with them for the whole afternoon, their numbers just seemed to grow more and more. They managed to burn down more than 20 enemy ships, losing seven of our own in the process. In the end, Senbaud had no choice but to order a retreat. The enemy didn't bother to pursue them either. They were content with them leaving the island.
Senbaud still had to circle Silowas a few times before they lost the enemy. Only after that could they rest. Senbaud saw that Swordfish Ridge still flew the Raging Bear flag, and decided to sneak into the marine camp near the bay during the night to make his way up to the ridge.
When midnight came, Senbaud brought them into the small bay and they realized that the fires were still lit at Swordfish Ridge. So, he brought his men up there but left Wilson outside. They returned after a good while and had them hurriedly retreat. There were lots of enemies waiting there. Given that they only had a thousand or so men with them, they had no choice but to retreat. They could no longer defend Silowas.
They didn't bring many boats when they entered the bay, so each one they had was packed to the brim with people. By the time we ferried everyone out of the bay, the sky was already brightening and the enemy discovered them. They sent their ships for them, but they sunk the first ten or so that arrived and they even managed to take control of two middle-class armed merchant vessels in the process. The enemy mobilized another hundred or so ships to attack them, however, they were fully laden, so they weren't able to sail quickly enough and were caught once again in the afternoon.
Fortunately, Divine Marksman Josk was there. He and Senbaud picked ten ships that were still in decent condition and deployed them as their rearguard. They managed to eliminate the five ships right on their tail. As a result, the enemies further back became more cautious. They didn't come closer, but they continued to barrage them with ranged attacks all the all the way into the evening before they retreated.
The next morning Senbaud ordered Wilson to head back first with the injured. Flying Fish of Dawn is the fastest ship in their arsenal, after all.
For his increadible service, Senbaud was made a instated as a household knight.
He was later made Freiyar’s aid and vice commander of the Oceanic Legion.
The 16 gold-ranked knights would later become the paragons of future generations. Some of them would be made dukes, and some of them would eventually become blademasters. Among them, one who was both a blademaster and a duke, was the controversial and legendary Senbaud.
When he first went under Lorist's wing, he was made a marine assault vanguard squad leader right away. After every naval expedition he participated in, his position would slowly rise until, eventually, he became the admiral of House Norton's naval forces. When Lorist formed his own nation, Senbaud was made a duke. He came to be known to others as the 'Windstorm Duke'.
During the 80th birthday celebration of the Windstorm Duke, per his grandson's suggestion, Senbaud began to dictate his experiences for his grandson to organize into a million-word autobiography titled 'From Pirate to Duke'. The book mainly described his exploits following his recruitment into the Raging Bear King, Lorist's, ranks. After the book was published, it only took half a year for it to become one of the best-selling books on the whole of Grindia with more than a million copies sold. Many newer editions were published over the following decades. Countless military historians and strategists relied on it for their careers.
Naturally, the book also had its fair share of criticism. During the time of its publication, many of the pirates who had joined Lorist were still alive. When Count Tok read the first chapter of the book, he claimed that Senbaud had lied about how he felt Lorist's domineering aura right away, which was why Senbaud took Lorist as his lord at the very first moment.
The white-haired Count Tok said to the reporters, "Back then, Senbaud felt so humiliated that he wanted to kill himself. A gold-ranked knight like him was actually toyed with by a young-looking count like a rag doll for half an hour. He had been unable to put up the slightest resistance."
Count Tok laughed bitterly and said, "The moment Senbaud was knocked off his feet and fell onto the deck, we rushed to his aid right away. It was then when His Highness spent less than ten minutes beating us all down on his own. He had said that from that moment on, our lives no longer belonged to ourselves, they belonged to him. The reason he disarmed us was so that we wouldn't kill ourselves in the heat of the moment."
The gold-ranked knight, Count Tok, no longer spoke and closed his eyes, Bright futures and great achievements... The reporters made it sound so light-hearted. I wonder if they know how bloody and dangerous that path was... It was filled with killings and mountains of bones... Out of the 300 or so pirates who joined, only around 30 survived... Had it not been for His Highness's underhanded methods back then, who would've been willing to join him on that so-called path to glory?
When the empire's civil war first broke out, Senbaud was merely a one-star-silver-ranked garrison squad leader.
After searching Sir Gunmock's corpse he discovered a high-ranked battleforce manual within the sack Sir Gunmock carried with him. The battleforce attribute of the manual was the same metal type as his own. Flipping open the manual titled 'Metaltemper Battleforce', Senbaud discovered that one of Sir Gunmock's ancestors was a blademaster who had unfortunately perished in battle during one of the empire's invasion attempts on the trade union.The blademaster had recorded his insights and realizations in the Metaltemper Battleforce manual. It was to be passed down as a family heirloom so that his descendants would not have to go through trial and error in their battleforce training.
He became a deserter, and built himself a small grass hut in the wilds not far away from the Sea of Grief. He spent his free time training in the Metaltemper Battleforce. Three years later, the 27-year-old finally broke through to the three-star silver rank.
Over ten years later he broke through to the one-star gold rank.