Volume 3, Chapter 30
“Shell III calling Beach. I repeat, Shell III calling Beach. Heading 282, height 1500. Ready to enter area 6.”
“This is Beach, Shell III carefully search the area. Pay close attention to your safety. Report any changes immediately.”
“Yes, Shell III understands.”
Luftwaffe Lieutenant Slutton continued to press a series of buttons and switches. His foot gently pressing down on the rudder pedal. The stick started to lean forward, sending the Ar 196 reconnaissance plane deeper into the sea.
“Rowe, what do you think we’ll find this time?” Slutton asked the man sitting behind him.
“I don’t know, Lieutenant. However, I am a little worried, it seems we are getting really close to the British.”
“Don’t worry about that. Their fighters have been defeated in France by us. They’ve retreated to their island, I doubt they would leave their nest now. We’re quite safe. You, on the other hand, should pay attention to the sea. Don’t miss anything, the command has stated that this area is very important to the war.”
The Ar 196 then began to gradually lower its height until it reached 1000 meters.
“Lieutenant, there is something!” Rowe suddenly cried out.
“Right, thirty degrees.”
Slutton turned the plane slightly and flew towards the seemingly empty horizon.
“Three small cargo ships.” Looking that the ships with a telescope, “No flag. But based on its design, seems to be Dutch coastal freighter.”
“Report it to headquarters immediately.” Slutton ordered to. “The Netherlands have already been occupied by us. Their ships should have specific instructions to not be in this area.
“Understood, Lieutenant. Beach. Beach. This is Shell III. Respond.”
“I hear you Shell III. What is the situation?”
“We are in the 6th area. We have sighted three small Dutch freighters. Their location is 132a1231F, heading 87. Speed, about 8 knots.”
“Continue to observe. Shell III, what is the name on the ships?”
“Beach, please hold. We will try to approach for a closer look.”
Rowe then shouted towards Slutton. “Lieutenant, they want us to find out the names of those boats.”
Slutton pressed forward the stick and the plane began to descend gradually towards the three ships. As he flew over the ships, he adjusted to continue circling above them. He was quite skilled in piloting this light reconnaissance plane. Only maintaining a height a hundred meters above the tops of the ship. He could even see the angry faces of the sailors waving their fists.
“They must be furious.” Slutton smiled and yelled back at Rowe.
“N14. N15. N20.” Rowe didn’t seem to hear his words. “They might have painted the off the original name off the ship. It should be some of the British Navy’s requisitioned military transport ships.”
“Quick, report this to headquarters.” Slutton shouted back. “They are heading for the Red 2 minefields. They are either crazy and wish to commit suicide or the British had swept open a path. This is urgent!”
“Beach, Beach. This is Shell III, we have identified…” Then he stopped for a second and shouted at Slutton with a voice of fear. “Lieutenant, be careful, they want to fire on us!”
“I see it, you continue reporting the situation. I can cope with them.” Slutton also saw that on the sterns of the ships, the crew were setting up their machine guns. The crews rushing to feed bullets into the gun.
He was well aware that he was in deep trouble. This position was incredibly unfavorable. He was currently passing overhead the boats. If he wanted to turn in any direction, one of the ships will fire at the abdomen of the ship. To climb was too late, after all the Ar 196 was not a fighter plane nor a dive bomber. The only choice now was to rush straight and get out of range as soon as possible. The nose of the plane was pointed down, gaining some speed was it edged precariously close to the sea. The engine roaring as it sped to a desperate sprint. The plane left a white trail in the sea as it just barely passed over the waves.
“Pew, Pew…” The crisp sound of gunfire echoed through the air. The British sailors frantically pouring bullets into the air.
Biting his teeth, Slutton pushed the throttle will all his might. His eyes glaring at the sea. Continuously telling himself that once they exit the maximum firing range, they could climb to higher elevations and to safety. He paid no heed to the sound of ripping metal around him, nor the whizzing of the bullets. As they were drowned out by his adrenaline and the roar of the engine.
The plane finally rushed out of the range of the guns and the horrific hail of bullets stopped. The sound of the sea was quiet, only the sound of the engine disturbed the serenity. However, as a trained pilot, he subconsciously filtered that noise out. Leaving only the vastness of the ocean around him. The freighters were in the far distance, soon they would be out of sight. Although the whole process took only a few seconds, it felt like entire years. Taking a deep breath, he slowly pulled back on the stick. As the plane started to ascend, Slutton found that his flight jacket had been soak in sweat.
“Rowe, how are you doing? That was really too dangerous, ugh. Who would have thought that small cargo ships would have such strong firepower? Fortunately, our engine was never hit, otherwise everything might have ended. Did you report the situation to headquarters yet?”
“Lieutenant, my situation is a bit bad.” Rowe answered from behind him.
Slutton quickly turned his head and saw his observer leaning on the side of the seat. His safety belt had been loosened and Rowe was performing hemostatic first aid to himself. The blood had already stained the flight jacket a scarlet red.
“Rowe! You’re hit!” Slutton was shocked as he saw several holes in the fuselage.
“Hell, they managed to hit you. How’s your injury?”
“Not too sure Lieutenant. It seems very serious. Can’t be sure how long I can hold on, it may have hit my lungs.” Rowe said weakly, coughing up specks of blood.
“Hold on. I’ll return to the airfield. You just hold onto the wound. Don’t talk.” Slutton turned his head and looked at the compass. Quickly plotting his course, the plane started to gently turn. He was afraid that any more violent movements would aggravate the wound, so he was especially cautious.
“Lieutenant.” Rowe in the back, shouted to Slutton.
“What’s the matter?”
“I never had time to report to headquarters.”
“That doesn’t matter, I’ll do it. You need to save your strength. A German pilot should not die in from the hands of pathetic British sailors. Even more so from atrocious gunners.” Slutton gave some words to encouragement as he sped at his top speed towards the shore.
“Shell III calling Beach. Shell III calling Beach.”
“This is Beach, Shell III, what had happened? Have you been attacked?”
“We encountered three Dutch freighters requisitioned by the British navy. Their ship number is…” Slutton stopped as he could not recall the ship numbers.
“N14. N15. N20” Rowe weakly reminded him.
“The ship numbers are N14, N15, N20. They are heading for the Red 2 minefield. They may have cleared up a passage through the channel. Current heading 84, speed 8 knots. Also, they are armed. My observer had been hit. The injury is serious, have a medical team ready back at base. I am returning now.”
“Understood, Shell III. Everything will be ready when you arrive. Well done.”
“Thank you.” Slutton then let go of the communications button.
“Rowe, you have to hold on. They have prepared, rest assured. They will have the best medical team for you when we arrive.”
“Yeah. Wait until this war is over, we’ll both go visit Paris.”
“Ha ha ha. Wait until I take you to eat at the best restaurants there. Of course, you can also buy some beautiful clothes and ornaments for Ilsa. Ah, think of her face when she receives your gift when you return home. I wonder what she would look like with the newest French fashion, hehe.”
“Motherfuc… cough. cough…”
“Yeah, yeah is something wrong?” Slutton asked with concern.
“Nothing, I’d rather not think of the possibility of leaving my sister alone with you.”
“Ah, what is wrong? I am among the best of the German pilots. I could even be an ace if it wasn’t piloting this reconnaissance plane. I even have plenty of medals. No need to fear for her happiness.”
“Haha. cough… She’s 16… you motherfucker. Your playboy attitude is the shame of the Luftwaffe. If I die, we’re dying together, Lieutenant.”
“Ha ha ha, perhaps we’ll talk more when we land.”
“Call me Slutton, we’ve been friends for a while. Why do you still call me Lieutenant?”
“Because you’ve always had ulterior motives.”
The hemostatic pack had already been soaked in blood, and Rowe began to wonder if he really could make it.
The plane began to descend, the coastline of Calais was already in sight. Slutton finally eased his heart, it seems he’s made it. It wouldn’t be more than ten minutes off.
Slutton then saw two black dots, from the east, flying in his direction.
“Hmm? Is it our planes?”
Staring at the two black spots. Then the two spots began to dive.
“What is this, it doesn’t seem good.”
As the distance grew closer, Slutton could finally make out its appearance. The two planes had a gray hull, a bi-plane design, the closed cockpit, and the excessively ugly engine.
“… Gladiator! Shit, why are there British planes so close to our base? Rowe, get buckled in. We might have to engage.”
Rowe also saw the two planes and quickly struggled to fasten his safety belt. The turned around in his seat. One hand clutching his wound while his other hand was holding onto the handle of the rear machine gun.
“Let them come, Slutton, don’t worry about me. I can stand it.”
“Hoh? Well, my friend, I’ll let them know our fierceness. But did I just hear you say my name?”
Not waiting for Rowe to answer, Slutton initiated a complex turn resulting in a quick downward dive. The two gladiators apparently did not expect such a move from a reconnaissance plane. Instead, flying past the Ar 196.
“Hey! You are okay?” Slutton was a bit concerned that Rowe wouldn’t be able to stand the maneuvers.
“I’m fine, I think the bleeding is mostly over. It’s not so serious now.” Pressing the pack, he bit his teeth and answered.
“I think we’ll still need to quickly land. I’ll try to throw them off.” Pressing forward the throttle, the dashed towards the airport.
“They should still be following us. But I can’t see them anymore…” Rowe felt that he might be dying. His vision blurring, his strength waning, the sounds in his ear grew quieter, as if they came from leagues away. His vision suddenly grew black, losing consciousness.
“Hold on.” Slutton shouted but never heard Rowe’s answer. Turning his head, he say Rowe lying unresponsive in his seat.
“Damn, damn those English! I will seek revenge for you!”
His plane made a sharp turn and pointed his forward guns toward the two incoming planes.
— — —
Rowe felt a voice in his slumber. It seems someone is calling for him. The voice came from the far distance, as if a gentle echo. However, the voice grew closer. Thinking to himself, “What I’m not dead? Is this the voice of the angels? Why can’t I see anything? No, this sounds very familiar. Who is it? Ah, it’s Slutton… He’s calling me.”
Rowe opened his eyes from his coma, then looked at his surroundings at a loss of words. The first thing he saw was the face of Lieutenant Slutton.
“Haha, so you finally woke up. Did you know that you were unconscious for an entire day? Well, I guess not because you were asleep. Any longer and I would have to take care of your sister for you, haha.”
“Ah, Lieutenant, my wound is still hurting. No need to say such things. Anyways, I remember that before I gone out, there were two Gladiators chasing us. How did you escape?”
“Uhh, well I thought you were dead and so I turned around to fight them. However, I didn’t expect the pilots to be complete rookies. The wanted to meet me face on, but I managed to outmaneuver the planes and shot one down. The other one immediately ran. Of course, I was still concerned about you so I quickly landed. The doctor says that it was a miracle that you survived.”
Then he suddenly stopped. Instead slowly stretched out his hand towards Rowe.
“It’s nice to see you back, friend.”
[MD: So I’m on chapter 154 of the King of German Mercenaries. So far, everything points at it being picked up by me. It’s a whole lot like Release that Witch but without the fantasy background. What’s funny is that it’s like xianxia but instead of cultivation ranks, it nobility titles. Probably, I won’t release a chapter until November or December as it can get confusing with the medieval politics.
The other option is this other series (don’t know the title yet) but I still need it to decide.]