“Raise th' anchor lads!”
“Aye, raise th’ anchor!”
Following the shout of Isabela, the sailors started raising the ship’s anchor. The sounds of large thick chains bumping against the side of the ship were heard as it was ready to set sail.
This ship was your regular large sail ship with a lot of space for cargo. Thanks to the spatial magic technology in this world a ship like this could carry a staggering number of items. This reduced the weight and saved up space for the crew members and travelers. Due to this, there were quite a number of people riding along, Roland being one of them.
He was now standing on the main deck with a group of travelers just like him. He was the only one going solo, the rest either had some friends, business partners, or other kinds of companions.
This was a merchant ship which also meant that it had a lot of protection. He could see various adventurers battle-ready and in gear. If not for the destruction of his card he could have also saved some money on traveling as last time. He at least hoped that he could spend this trip without anything going horribly wrong.
Roland didn’t really have anything to do now. There was no one that he knew and talking to strangers was something that he wouldn’t do. He wished that he could repair some of his items. He also wanted to scribe some new scrolls as he had gone through the bulk of them during the bandit attack.
There was just no privacy here though. He had glanced down into the lower deck where everyone was supposed to sleep. It didn’t look too good, a person was supposed to either sleep on the wooden floor or in a hammock. It also smelled like seawater and sweat down there, the lack of ventilation also made breathing hard.
‘This is it huh?’
He looked out into the distance. The people that had come to wave at them as they departed were already out of view. He looked at the port town getting smaller and smaller with each passing moment. There were some other ships near them for the time being but with time the distances became larger.
He thought back to his adventures on the main continent. There weren’t many treasured moments that he could think back to. His stay at the Arden estate was already buried deep and something that he liked to forget about.
There weren’t that many people that he remembered fondly there beside his maid. He also had some fleeting encounters with a couple of adventurers but years had already passed since those times. He didn’t think that they would remember him that much for the couple of months he spent with them.
Life moved forward and so he would also have to. He wanted to leave the past behind and move on. After gaining a good amount of personal strength he would be able to relax. He knew that it wouldn’t be easy but if he took precautions and bettered himself slowly he would reach his goal.
He knew of the existence of hybrid classes. Ones that combined crafting professions with more battle focused classes. He just needed to see if he could nab one after his next class change.
If there wasn’t anything available he was also considering taking something like a runic weaponsmith. With the added proficiencies in crafting weapons, he might be able to somehow make it work.
A weaponsmith class lacked any active or passive skills that increased his battle strength directly though. The runic variant would probably be the same but he should be able to circumvent that with his high mana pool that allowed him to use magic runes more proficiently. He would just need to procure the runic version of skills of other battle classes. Just like he did with the mana slash and mana thrust runes.
‘Wait, maybe the runic armorsmith would be a better choice. I will be able to fit more runes on a suit of armor than a sword…’
He rubbed his chin while contemplating, there were a couple of possibilities with his class options. He could also take one that focused on runes only. Then he could just order armor and weapons from a regular blacksmith instead. That would lower the customization options and also probably give away his runecrafting profession sooner or later.
“Well looky here, wha' are ye doin' here all alone, wants big sis t' keep ye company?”
Roland looked behind him after hearing a woman’s voice. After turning around he noticed that it was the woman that he previously met. This was this ship’s first mate, she went by Isabela and for some reason, she was interested in him.
“Uh, no thanks I’m fine…”
He wasn’t used to something like this so he wasn’t really sure how to react. The woman gave him a somewhat seductive look. To Roland, it felt as if she was some kind of predator looking at a juicy piece of meat.
Roland might have looked young to her but he was mentally older than the woman that looked to be in her late-twenties. It was true that with a high enough vitality stat her real age might have been higher.
He realized what she was after but he didn’t feel comfortable with going through with something like that. This was a ship filled with people and he barely knew this woman. Maybe letting off some steam after the bandit attack would feel enjoyable but he just wasn’t the type to jump into any stranger's bed.
“Don't be like that sugar, 'tis goin' t' be a long trip 'n thar ain't much t' do around here. Jus' relax 'n 'ave sum rum.”
The lady came prepared, she had a big bottle of rum in one hand and was actually already drinking. The moment she came closer the stretch of alcohol washed over Roland and made him cringe.
“No it’s fine, I really don’t need a drink.”
He just shook his head while moving to the side. Isabela was just about to lean on him but instead tumbled forward and had to grasp herself on the ship railing.
“Look lads, Isabela got dumped again!”
They were all on a boat so this exchange was noticed by the sailors. They started pointing fingers at their first mate and laughing out loud.
“She be losin' her touch, must be gettin' old.”
Roland started to move away while noticing a large vein appearing on Isabela’s forehead. She even pulled out her saber from the side and started pointing it at her crew member.
“Ye wants me t' cut o' yer pegleg, Emmett?”
She pointed the sharp tool at the sailor’s nether region and he instantly backed away. This didn’t stop the other men from laughing as they chuckled away whilst their first mate cursed at them. The whole scene only stopped after the captain came. After some shouting, everyone was back working and he was now free to think in peace.
The day flew by and it was night. This he spent in the company of some hairy men on a hammock right above them. The smell was quite something but thanks to his sleeping resistance he would be fine with only a couple of hours of it. It looked like the trip would be uneventful and that he would arrive at his new home soon.
But on the second day, the sailor that was atop of the main mast started shouting. Roland looked out into the distance but couldn’t see anything. The person above had a specialized sea fairing scout-like class and he could tell that something was approaching.
“A monster off the starboard bow, incomin' fast!”
‘Starboard bow? that should be front right, 1 or 2 o clock…’
Roland was curious about what was coming so he tried looking. It was the middle of the next day but the sea was dark and murky. He couldn’t see anything, he could try to activate his detection device but with its limited range, he decided otherwise. For now, he decided to move back and let the specialized crew do their thing while he examined it from a distance.
Back in his mind, he was quite worried if something brought this ship down here survival would be difficult. He had no underwater breathing spells on him and they had already been sailing for more than one day. Returning back without a boat would probably be impossible and not like this world had something like a coast guard to rescue people from shipwrecks.
He could see the ship turning from its original course. It looked like they were running away but that wasn’t it. Some of the sailors rushed below deck to man the cannons while others occupied the ones on the main deck. He could see what was the point of the maneuver as the ship just faced the approaching enemy with its side to get a better shot on it.
“Wait fer it…”
Isabela was at the forefront of it. She was grasping one of the ropes attached to the sail while leaning out from the ship. After a moment even he could see some kind of dark shadow coming for them. He was surprised that the lookout was able to spot something like this in the distance.
Soon the monster emerged from below. Its color was sea-green, a little bit back from its head were four long tentacles. Two sprouting from across each other on the top, and two more of the same on the underbelly which couldn’t be seen yet.
The monster’s head was somehow triangular-shaped, with a spherical, somewhat beak-like nose. Above the nose were three eyes, each one set atop the other and red in color. There were also tendrils and a few shorter tentacles dangling from the bottom of its head.
The monster emerged from the deep sea and gave out a large roar. It had quite a large mouth with long sharp sword-like teeth. Its size was roughly half of this ship, it was possible that if it took a bite of it they would go under. Even a full slam from this giant thing could cause irreparable damage to this vessel.
The creature’s body shape was similar to a shark’s but it was a bit more elongated and had all of those tentacles. At first, Roland thought that they were up against the fabled Kraken but instead, this was some kind of freaky looking fish.
The moment the monster roared Isabela swung her saber down. This prompted the sailors to discharge the cannons they were manning. He could see them making a nice arc towards the beast, some of them hit the mark while others missed by a wide margin. Aiming the cannons was quite difficult while steering a ship like this.
Roland expected the creature to put up a better fight but it couldn’t even get in range of the ship. The cannons made quick work of it and soon enough the monster was floating belly up while its blood tainted the water.
The sailors cheered out loud while the people on the ship clapped. It looked like there would not be any shipwrecking happening any time soon.
“Helmsman take us out o' here, activate th' wind magic if ye 'ave t'!”
Roland was a bit surprised at the crew’s next action. He was expecting them to actually go up to the monster’s crops and fish out its mana stone. A creature this big would probably have a huge one.
Instead, they released all the sails and even activated some wind runes to get out of there as quickly as it was possible. He got the answer to why after a few moments. The creature’s motionless body got attacked from the side by a massive set of chompers.
Another sea monster decided to make a meal out of this fresh body. It was smaller than this one but it wasn’t alone as many other sea creatures started fighting over the food. The sailors knew this and quickly escaped as the creature’s blood would attract other predators to the scene quite fast.
After the whole thing was over Roland moved over to one of these cannons. He activated his debugging skill while examining it. He could see that it was clearly a runic weapon, from the runic structure he could tell that it was composed of common runes.
It looked like it was similar to some of the detonation runes he worked on before. The magic item probably simulated gunpowder to propel the metallic cannonballs outside. He could also see that there were mana stones involved in this construction. Probably thanks to that even these sailors with low mana could fire these off.
He didn’t think there was a problem with him sketching a diagram of this cannon. He was stuck on this ship with nothing else to do. He just sat down close to it and started scribbling, he didn’t think that anyone here would have extensive knowledge of what he was doing. Even then he could just say that he got inspired by the cannon design.
The trip continued with more monsters and more cannon fire. Sometimes he could see the sailors throwing some kind of pouches filled with something into the water. After listening in he discovered that it was some kind of monster repellant. It was apparently enough to scare off the smaller monsters but not the larger ones. It was utilized whenever too many of the smaller ones decided to swim around them.
Surprisingly the voyage continued into the last day without a hitch. He expected to be caught up in some kind of pirate attack or a large squid monster appearing out of nowhere. Now they were close to Dragnis island and apparently, the larger monsters didn’t intrude too close to it.
There was a large party the day before their arrival. Everyone got drunk including the adventurers and the traveling guests. He had enough sense to take it slow, the other people on the other hand were loud and obnoxious. Isabela landed herself another boy toy who he saw leaving her cabin in the morning. He had a strange look on his face, he could only speculate on what happened that night.
Soon from high above a voice of a man hollered.
Roland walked over while narrowing his eyes and glanced into the distance. He could faintly see some land after a couple of minutes of the man shouting. Soon a city port could be seen by everyone and the people got ready to disembark.
“Everyone get ready, we shall be goin' ashore soon.”
Isabela came out of her cabin with disheveled hair and smelling like cheap spirit. She was showing a bit more skin than usual probably due to the previous night’s encounter.
‘I guess this is it, I should restock at the port and find transport towards the town of Albrook.’
This was his final destination. He hoped that he had made the right decision and that the town wouldn’t turn out to be a dud. The quality of the dungeon was also unknown, it could be too new for adventuring or training.
‘Well, anything is better than staying back in that city…’
He recalled Edelgard and how it was probably going through turmoil at this very moment. With that noble son’s assassinations going through some people might decide to leave. There was no concrete proof that the noble did it but rumors were enough to cause potential business partners to turn away.
Roland shrugged as that wasn’t his problem anymore. Nobles and their problems weren’t on his agenda, what he now had to do was to gain more levels and craft better weapons for himself.
‘First thing I’m going to craft is a hot tub… I haven’t taken a bath in weeks…’
He chuckled while looking into the distance, the large landmass constantly getting bigger as he waited with anticipation to disembark.