Skyler’s mind functioned like an overclocked computer at this moment, swiftly generating and dismissing dozens of possibilities within a few seconds.

This is Hogwarts, where Dumbledore holds sway, fortified with countless ancient protective magics. Not everyone can easily infiltrate even with the influx of outsiders due to the Triwizard Tournament.

Moreover, the Durmstrang ship Skyler occupied was one of only two ghost ships in the world. The ship’s defense mechanisms and naval combat capabilities were sufficient to navigate the seas for centuries, and such vessels were beyond the reach of Ministries of Magic worldwide.

As per Karkaroff’s account, this expansive ship was constructed by Durmstrang’s founder and inaugural principal, Nerida Vulchanova, in the 10th century.

Subsequently, in the 15th century, it acquired the prestigious title of being assisted by a team of alchemists in the service of the Holy Roman Empire. A considerable amount of imperial resources was invested, leading to extensive enhancements and improvements.

In the end, the renowned female alchemist Countess Palatine Barbara of Oettingen personally engraved water mirrors on this ship for magical transmission.

This grand ship boasts over 600 strategically placed warning and defense spells on its top and bottom, rendering its defense virtually impenetrable in every nook and cranny.

Karkaroff took pride in asserting that the ship’s defense is not significantly inferior even when compared to the likes of Hogwarts and Nurmengard. Since its construction, numerous formidable dark wizards have coveted it, yet there has never been a recorded instance of it being breached or infiltrated by outsiders.

It is impervious to ordinary intruders.

Not to Eleanor.

Not to Karkaroff.

Not even to other Durmstrang students.

While Voldemort possessed the strength to infiltrate Nurmengard in his prime, he is presently a lingering soul. On the other hand, Dumbledore undeniably possesses the capability but lacks the motivation to deal with Skyler. Using a recently matured female student for a honey trap is also incongruent with his character.

After eliminating all other possibilities, the only remaining option becomes the most plausible inference, no matter how absurd it may sound.

Skyler gently touched his forehead, shook his head in helplessness, and wore an expression of bitter amusement.

Here we go again. What is wrong with this world? What has he done to offend someone? Why does trouble seem to find him wherever he goes?

All Skyler desires is to make some investments, earn a bit of money, attract a few beautiful girlfriends, and gather a few accomplishments to boast to his future children and grandchildren. Additionally, he hopes to uphold the family’s glory. Apart from those who pose a threat, such as Voldemort, he has no intention of stirring up trouble. Yet, trouble always manages to find its way back to him.

Letting out a heavy sigh, Skyler swiftly produced his wand as if it had been there all along. He raised his arm, pointing the wand towards the sole source of light in the room—the round porthole with a screen.

“Should I feel joy or sorrow…” Skyler’s eyes flickered with an alluring light, and he spoke with a cold tone, “I am uncertain of the honor that has befallen me, Skyler, to encounter the elusive figure hidden in the mist, where only your name and legend persist, Your Majesty—”

“The captain of the legendary ghost ship Flying Dutchman, leader of the pirate family alliance that rules the seven seas, and crowned the contemporary ‘Pirate King’—”

“His Excellency the Pirate King Barbarossa.”

A silhouette materialized slowly in the dim light. It was a tall and robust man with bronze skin, short, black, greasy hair, and a small braid at the back. He wore a short-sleeved leather vest, displaying numerous tattoos on his exposed arms and face.

“How did you figure out it was me?” The man confirmed his identity, his English tinged with a thick Latin American accent.

Upon confirming his opponent’s identity, Skyler’s expression grew more solemn. The man before him had a fearsome reputation, having defeated dozens of elite Aurors at sea in the United States a century ago.

What’s even more formidable is that this man’s character, magical abilities, and fighting style—all details about his magic level and other information—are shrouded in mystery. Everything about him seems concealed within the mist, escaping the knowledge of anyone.

If it weren’t for the fact that the head of the Carrow family had provided Skyler with a list of pure-blood families associated with Walpurgis, Skyler might not have even come across his name.

The Pirate Family is an exceptionally unique pure-blood family. It is, in fact, an alliance of several European and American pure-blood families, lacking a unified surname. The control of the seven sea areas is divided among seven pirate lords, with the most powerful among them inheriting the title of “Pirate King.”

“The people of Durmstrang won’t be my enemies,” Skyler said calmly. Three rings materialized from the void onto the fingers of his right hand, holding the wand. Each of these rings activated invisible magical power under the infusion of his magical energy.

Swaying, “The presence of two contemporary wizards who have ascended to the rank of great magisters appearing on this ship right now is impossible. Therefore, there is only one individual in this world who possesses the capability to board this ship without raising any alarms—”

“You, too, command a ghost ship. You’re well acquainted with the vulnerabilities in the defenses of ghost ships and can effortlessly penetrate their security,” Barbarossa declared.

“So,” Barbarossa’s eyes gleamed with a murderous intent, “A traitor has emerged within the organization, divulging my existence, and you are already aware of my affiliation with Walpurgis.”

“Tsk, tsk,” Skyler chuckled, “Indeed, it’s Walpurgis. Recruiting the foremost families of France and Germany to serve it is impressive. Now, even the pirate family is willing to submit to it. I can’t help but wonder, is it—”

Skyler’s tone suddenly turned icy, “After defeating you, will the true master come forth to meet their demise personally?”

Barbarossa shook his head gently, “You don’t stand a chance. Although you’ve seen through the trap, you must have realized. In such confined quarters, there’s no way I’ll allow you to escape with your life.”

Skyler frowned, discerning that Barbarossa wasn’t taking him seriously at all. Given the prowess he exhibited in the Triwizard Tournament, even an elite Auror would not disregard him so readily. Could it be—


Beyond Voldemort and Dumbledore, could there be a third great wizard in the world?

While Skyler contemplated the implications of Barbarossa’s words, Barbarossa snorted coldly, and a surge of magical power emanated from him.

Under Skyler’s scrutiny with his magical eyes, the magical power enveloping Barbarossa resembled a tumultuous sea. The surging waves, possessing astonishing momentum, climbed higher and higher, relenting only when they approached the threshold of a Grand Magister. He had actually reached the level of a quasi-magister!

A quasi-magister, approximately on par with Armand II. However, during the previous encounter when he inhabited Draco’s body, his performance was constrained, primarily due to concerns about harming Skyler’s body.

Holding back in battle might have made the fight less challenging for the adversary at the time, but now, facing an opponent with no such reservations, this battle promises to be more formidable.

Simultaneously, Skyler had recently acquired Salff’s innate abilities and established a magical contract to share magical power with her. In essence, Skyler was now considerably more potent than he was before.


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Published On: March 27, 2024

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