“As expected of a shipyard, it’s really huge.”
Shin’s group visited a shipyard located at the edge of the port. Despite its location, it didn’t lose to other shipyards in size. The group followed Zazie to the docks and found two galleons hanging in midair, suspended by fixtures. Next to them was a ship in the process of being built, probably the one requested by Zazie and her comrades.
The workers noticed Zazie’s arrival and one of them called to a large man who was a bit farther away from them.
The man then came closer; he was of short stature, but about two times wider than the average person, with a stocky and muscular physique.
“Hey there, Zazie. The ship is still in the works, ya know?”
Judging from the man’s familiar tone, he must have been on good terms with Zazie. Shin imagined him to be one of the chief carpenters.
“I came to talk about that ship. This guy is an acquaintance of ours, an adventurer named Shin. This man is the boss and chief carpenter of this Gourd Shipyard, Zigma Gourd, but everyone just calls him chief.”
Zazie did the introductions; Shin had told her that he didn’t want to attract attention where other people could see, so she had kept the introductions to a bare minimum. Lapwing fretted, looking at her.
“Calm down, Lapwing.”
“Zazie, isn’t that way of speaking a bit rude?”
“It’s okay, Shin isn’t the type of person to care about things like that.”
Even while Schnee added a helpful comment, Zazie continued talking with Zigma. She told him to suspend making the ship and Zigma looked at Shin.
“This isn’t something to talk about here I wager. Let’s go to the back, follow me.”
The group followed Zigma’s pounding steps to a small room in the back of the office. After drinks were served, Zigma started talking.
“So, why don’t you need the ship anymore? I know the reason why you needed it, why you’re so bent on this. I don’t think you can find a replacement so easily.”
To have a normal ship, one just needed to pay the right amount of money. Kuwain was an extremely dangerous marine area with powerful storms though. A ship that had its large size as its only advantage was still doomed to sink.
“I know you girls, you can’t have given up, right? The lad here is involved in it?”
“Yes, Mr. Shin is going to make the ship.”
“Say what now?”
Zigma looked at Shin again, straight and deeply, as if to scan what kind of person he was.
“Yes, I would like to borrow the space where that ship is being built.”
“Do you have the materials? In order to make a ship like the guild specified, the materials alone cost an arm and a leg, ya know that?”
“I have the parts already, yes. There was no other good place to put them together, so…”
Saying so, Shin put an item card on the table.
“An item card, huh. It’s true that it would make carrying materials easy. But just having the parts isn’t enough to build a ship, how about that?”
Building a ship required a certain amount of manpower. Even if parts and tools were turned into item cards, Shin’s group was just five people. With three of them being women, Zigma appeared skeptical that they could build a ship by themselves.
“I wouldn’t want this to be known, but…using skills, I’d make do somehow.”
“…I see, so you’re a skill inheritor.”
Zigma nodded, convinced.
Skills allowed the use of powers well beyond human understanding. The item box, which allowed children to carry items of massive weight, was similar also.
From the viewpoint of someone who did not understand skills, it was something impossible to comprehend. Shin’s way of speaking was due to him being an inheritor, and Zigma recognized that.
He was a creator, but also a businessman. The contract had been canceled unilaterally, but Zazie said that they would pay the full price, so he acknowledged their request.
“Well, business’s business, if ya pay I got nothing to say.”
“It sure doesn’t look like that, though?”
As Zazie pointed out, even if Zigma said to be content, his sour expression suggested otherwise.
“Can ya blame me? Building ships is my lifework. I haven’t spared anything, not materials nor technique, in the ship we’re making now. I can swear that it’d be my life’s masterpiece.”
He was surely confident; Zigma’s expression did not contain an inch of arrogance.
“That said, Zazie. Your expression tells me that the lad here can build something a hell of a lot better than I can. You know my skills, and here we have someone you trust that much. You bet I’m interested.”
“You never change, do you. Shin, I’m sure it’ll be alright with him.”
Zazie looked at Shin, as if to encourage him to show Zigma his skill usage.
Zigma’s attitude and the halfway built ship clearly showed that he had pride in his expertise, so Shin decided that he could let Zigma see his skills.
“…don’t tell anyone else about what you see or hear, and never mention that you saw me. If you can promise me these two things, then it’s all right.”
“Gotcha. Whatever I see or hear, I’ll bring with me into the grave. If there’s something I can steal, will ya let me?”
“Take anything you can. I won’t stop you for using it as reference for other work.”
“Now this is one cocky lad. I’m getting excited here!”
It wasn’t possible to make a skill into your own just by looking at it. Looking at the completed ship and using it as reference for other projects was no problem for Shin.
In contrast, Zigma nodded, an evil-looking grin on his face. His pride as an artisan was burning, without a doubt.
As there were no separators or barriers within the shipyard, Shin would put together the ship after the other carpenters left. The group split with Zazie and Lapwing for the moment, who would return to Shigureya, and headed to the guild.
“Hopefully they give us permission without too much of a fuss.”
Shin mumbled to himself, even if he knew that it would be difficult. Filma, who was looking around at Barbatos’ town scenery, heard him and replied:
“Judging from what Zazie said, won’t it be pretty impossible? I doubt they’d easily let anyone go in a place if they know it means having a death wish.”
“They’re the current owners of Shigureya, though. The guild or the government might not want to lose such talent like that.”
“That is probably it. Shigureya would turn into a warehouse if they were to be gone.”
Shibaid said that even with the ship their chances of being authorized were low, and Schnee agreed.
Homes could usually be accessed by others only if the owner was inside or together with the visitor. This was the same for Shin’s Tsuki no Hokora too; now that it was inhabited, only Tiera, Yuzuha, and Kagerou — other than support characters like Schnee — could enter it.
Yuzuha because she had a contract with Shin, Tiera because Schnee registered her as Tsuki no Hokora member when she took her under her wing, and Kagerou for the same reason as Yuzuha.
If Zazie and her companions were to die, in this world only Shin would be allowed to enter Shigureya, as he had a special authorization due to being a member of Rokuten.
Shin didn’t know how Zazie and the others were treated in Barbatos, but imagined that they wouldn’t want them to go into such dangerous areas.
“Well, let’s just try. We better gather info about the monsters that appear in these parts too.”
Just knowing about what they could face would be very helpful, the authorization could also come later. Is what Shin thought, when Tiera-who had not spoken a word until then-called to him.
“Hey, Shin. Fighting at sea will be something like when we fought the Gale Serpents in the storm last time right?”
“Well…yeah, but we could also have to fight underwater. I don’t think Celciutos could sink, as it has a diving function too. If, for some malfunction, it sinks underwater, we’d have to dive to recover it.”
Shin could turn any equipment into equipment usable underwater.
He had already done it to all party members…he thought, and then remembered that Tiera’s equipment had been updated.
“Oh yeah, we have to do “that” one more time.”
“Don’t do anything weird this time, okay?”
“Stop saying things that could be misunderstood…the design is random, I tell you. I was surprised myself that you got that of all things.”
A small accident happened last time Shin attached the underwater function to Tiera’s equipment. It was a very rare case, but for a woman such a design was a bit…no, extremely revealing. It was doubly rare, as it rarely appeared and Shin had never seen anyone wear it.
“I was more surprised!! What in the world was that, anyway? Even if it was to swim underwater, t-to wear that outside…would make me some perverse woman!!”
Remembering the incident, Tiera blushed fiercely and protested.
“Calm down, please! You’re too loud!”
Fortunately, there were few people around them, but they had attracted the attention of all those few, so the group hurried away.
As they walked on, Shibaid casted an inquiry.
“Shin, what happened to Tiera? It could not have been something trivial, if she showed such strong emotions in public.”
“When I attached the underwater function to her equipment, well, there was a small accident. Clothes and armor become a swimsuit, right? She had a rather risque one.”
Shin thought that it was pretty easy on the eyes, but did not dare voice his thoughts.
“Hmm, I see. There are many more variations for women than men, after all. I remember that there are also quite a few bizarre ones too.”
“Some of them are more embarrassing than being naked. I had something pretty crazy too. Are you sure it’s really random, hmm?”
“I said it is! If I could choose, I’d pick the current one from the start.”
Shin replied firmly to Filma’s teasing. If he didn’t, Schnee’s eyes would throw even sharper daggers into his back.
“I heard that nothing like that happened in Schnee’s case though?”
“Just a coincidence, I tell you.”
Tiera and Filma had very revealing designs, but Schnee had her current one the first time, so it was decided right away.
Depending on the viewpoint, however, one could say that in Schnee’s case any design would have worked.
“It can’t be helped, can it? I think that’s the one that looks best on her.”
Shin wasn’t neglecting Schnee, or so he strongly stated. There were no lies there.
“You heard that?”
Filma grinned and turned towards Schnee, who was walking behind her.
“I haven’t said anything.”
Schnee looked the other way, but judging from her twitching ears, she surely didn’t look displeased.
“Heh, just as planned.”
“Tch, that was on purpose!?”
Shin groaned towards the chuckling Filma.
“Enough about the equipment, there’s the guild.”
Shin looked forward in response to Shibaid’s announcement and saw a building very similar to the ones he had seen in Bayreuth and Falnido. The signboard also showed that there was no mistake.
“By the way, Filma, were you registered in the Adventurers’ Guild?”
“Hmm? No, why? When I was active people were still recovering from the confusion caused by the Dusk of the Majesty, so there weren’t cross-continental organizations like the guild.”
“Guess we should do that then. You’d get an ID too.”
At present, for Shin’s group that was how much a Guild card was worth. Selling the materials they had meant that they were never out of funds. For gathering information too, as Shibaid was rank A, it wasn’t necessary for Shin and the others to raise their own ranks.
“It’s the same inside too, huh.”
The interior of the guild had reception counters to the right, a tavern to the left and a board with requests in the center, the usual composition.
The only differences were the species and equipment of the adventurers inside. Probably because of Barbatos being close to the sea, they could see mermen and fishmen here and there. Shin also noticed several Rare and Unique class items, probably picked from the seafloor.
“Welcome to the Barbatos branch of the Adventurers’ Guild. How may I assist you?”
A woman with light blonde hair was at the reception.
“I’d like to register her as an adventurer.”
Shin knew the guild’s regulations, so they skipped the various explanations and proceeded with the registration.
“—-registration complete. Your card will be ready for pick up tomorrow.”
As before, it took one day to issue the card.
“Since we’re here, I’d like to ask you something. About the authorization to enter the Kuwain area, is it possible to receive it if we’re having a ship ready soon?”
“The authorization to enter…the Kuwain area…?”
Few people probably ever asked about it. The receptionist seemed to have no idea about what Shin was talking about.
“Yes, I heard that either the guild or the state’s authorization was needed in order to enter it. How does it work?”
“Please wait a moment…our staff needs to see the actual ship before granting authorization. There is a past case of people heading to sea with a ship of smaller size than the one reported in the request and disappearing, you see.”
The receptionist talked while looking at a document, probably listing the regulations. In the case she cited, some fishermen had witnessed the requester leaving port.
“Understood. I will come again once we have the ship then.”
“You can present your request first, if you wish to. The staff can fill in the ship’s information when they inspect it, so the procedures can be a bit quicker.”
“Is that so. Yes, I’ll do that.”
Thinking that saving time was always welcome, Shin filled in the required fields of the request form.
“Your name is…Shin, I see. Please present your guild card too.”
Shin handed in the filled request form and the receptionist checked it and compared it with his guild card.
“You are rank D? I’m afraid that even if you have a ship, you would not be granted the authorization.”
“There’s a rank A in my party. That means there’s no problem, right?”
“Yes, that is correct, but…if you do not mind me confirming, you are the party leader, lord Shin?”
“Could you please tell me the ranks of your party members?”
Despite the presence of a rank A, the party leader was rank D. The receptionist probably found it strange.
Some adventurers deliberately set lower-ranked members as leader, in order to let them accumulate experience. There was no reason to use an inexperienced leader when going to a place like Kuwain, however.
“We have one C and one F, then two partner monsters. Depending on the circumstances, other members could join us later too.”
Zazie and the others would probably come with them too, but as Shin didn’t know if they were registered as adventurers or not, he kept things vague on purpose.
“Thank you. Do you know what the conditions for the authorization are?”
“Yes. The presence of an A-rank adventurer, a ship equal to or superior to a certain size, equipment usable underwater, or so I’ve been told.”
Shin repeated the conditions he heard from Zazie.
“Yes, that is correct. Is your equipment ready?”
“Yes, for all party members. Do you need to check that too?”
“I apologize for the inconvenience, but it is policy to do so. I do not mean to doubt your abilities, lord Shin. We simply wish to keep the risk of losing valuable adventurers to minimum levels.”
“No problem. I also wish to show you that we have no intention of going to die.”
With the ship and equipment Shin can provide, a stormy sea or two would be a piece of cake. Based on the members of his party too, unless something incredible happened, no one even risked being injured.
However, He couldn’t let the guild know everything. Shin’s techniques were far too advanced for this world; if he revealed them without thinking, he risked creating a commotion.
Shin was thus thinking of masking the ship when it was time to show it too.
“If possible, I would like to know about the monsters present in the Kuwain area though.”
Information about monsters heavily varied based on the area, but the guild recorded everything the adventurers reported. Knowing how to counter the monsters influenced the adventurers’ survival rate greatly.
The adventurer’s job always required their lives to be on the line, so it was absolutely necessary for them to pay attention to monster information.
“You may find such information in the reference room.”
The documents available varied by rank, but in general all documents except the ones concerning monsters in dangerous dungeons or sealed areas were available.
The monsters in the Kuwain area were also reported to dwell in other areas, so Shin’s group could browse the information about them, excluding the three Sea Beasts.
“Thank you very much.”
“Once your ship is ready, please come to the reception again. If I am not present, please say that Arno Toole received your request, I’ll make sure it can be processed.”
“Understood. I will come again th—”
“Oh, my apologies. There is something else I need to speak to you about, lord Shin.”
Shin was about to call on Schnee and the others to go to the reference room, when Arno stopped him.
“There are about ten requests specifically for you.”
“Requests for me, huh. I’m truly sorry, but I have something urgent to do and cannot accept them.”
“Understood. As you cannot accept the requests, you will have to sign the request forms. Please wait in that booth, I will prepare the necessary documents.”
Arno pointed at a small booth next to the reception counter. Shin told Schnee and the others to wait, then sat on the sofa closest in the booth.
“I apologize for the wait. These are the request forms.”
Shin took the forms and signed the field stating that he could not accept the request.
He looked at the requesters while signing and found names and locations he remembered, such as Bayreuth kingdom or Balmel.
“Here, this should be all of them.”
“…yes, no problem.”
Arno checked the forms and nodded.
“Is this really alright with you, though? The connections you could obtain through these requests all seem very valuable.”
Arno explained that the adventurers who quit the guild to enter an exclusive contract with nobles or merchants, to ensure a stable lifestyle, were not few.
“I became an adventurer for a certain goal, so I’m not thinking of serving anyone until I have achieved that you see.”
“I see. A-rank adventurers are really different from the rest, after all.”
Arno gave a small chuckle after saying this, but Shin was a bit confused.
“Er, you’re talking about my party member?”
“No, I’m talking about you, lord Shin. I checked it before, when I processed your request. Because of your achievements in the Balmel defense battle, your promotion to rank A has been decided.”
The long discussion ended with the decision of promoting Shin to rank A.
With Shibaid present, they could check any documents, so it wasn’t really meaningful, but apparently communication had been sent throughout the continent.
“Stating you’re rank D when you’re actually rank A…that’s not nice, lord Shin. I was really surprised when I checked your guild card.”
It was very rare for adventurers to jump directly from rank D to rank A. To be sure it wasn’t a mistake, Arno had asked other staff members to confirm it too.
“I didn’t know that either until now though.”
“There are several adventurers named Shin, but who would have thought you were the one who acted in the Balmel defense battle. The name “Shin the Slashing Hammer” has reached even Barbatos, you know.”
Shin would have loved for that nickname to spread as little as possible, so he wished to be able to disappear among the other Shins.
“After such great achievements, it is only right for you to be evaluated fairly. But I’m glad, now I can send you off with fewer concerns. It is always painful when someone I assisted doesn’t come back.”
“It will be alright, as you can see it turns out I’m rank A, so I’ll be back in a flash. I’m not going to Kuwain just to hunt monsters after all.”
The goal of Shin party was to secure Celciutos. In case it was within the territory of one of the Sea Beasts, they could have to fight them. There was no need to come in contact with them or fight them however.
The Sea Beasts’ forces were at odds with each other, so they were likely to prioritize maintaining their territories and would not venture outside them. Defeating one could cause the others to attack ships or ports, thus it did not hold much meaning.
“If possible, could I know what your goal is?”
“Yes, of course. It’s not something as fixed as to be called a goal, though. If I had to give it a name, I’d say it’s adventure.”
It wouldn’t be good to have them look in too deep into his motives, so Shin used the response he had previously thought up.
“Unknown seas where man fears to tread…will there be something there, or maybe nothing? Wishing to know that is also what makes an adventurer, isn’t it? To seek the passion of adventure.”
“Passion, is that so.”
“Yes, well you could also say I’m a reckless idiot.”
There really were areas, called untrodden domains, which people very rarely visited. Shin found about them by coincidence, when he was looking through documents in Falnido.
Some adventurers made a living by entering such areas and finding rare items or exploring ruins. Shin decided to present his party as belonging to such a category.
“Not at all, there are many locations that have been discovered by such people. No one would call them idiots.”
“If you said that, I feel more confident.”
“As I am sure you know, fighting at sea is completely different than fighting on land. The monsters are peculiar too, but fighting in a field like the sea means that if you simply fall in, your movements will be limited. We die if we cannot breathe, and if the current sweeps us away and we lose our sense of direction, only death awaits. Please, do not let your guard down.”
“…I will not.”
Working in a guild in a port town, she surely knew well how terrifying the sea could be. Arno’s words and expression clearly showed that she was genuinely worried about Shin and his party.
“Please forgive me if I sounded patronizing.”
“No, I understand you said that out of concern for our safety. I am aware of how dangerous the sea can be, but I will be even more careful.”
Shin then went to join Schnee and the others to go to the reference room. There they looked up information about the monsters dwelling in the Kuwain area and compared them to what they knew. Being a forbidden area, there was not a lot of information, but there were not great differences with what they knew from the game era.
“The problem is the three Sea Beasts turning so violent. It’ll be easier if they don’t come to attack us, that’s for sure.”
On the way back from the guild to the shipyard, Shin sighed.
In the game, the monsters called Sea Beasts did not attack unless provoked. According to Zazie’s information, however, now they indiscriminately attacked anyone they saw.
“What shall we do if we damage them and they do not withdraw?”
Shin held his chin, thinking about how to answer Schnee’s question.
“We could escape if we stop their movements, but they’re faster than us in the water…”
It would be difficult to make the monsters lose sight of the party, even with status effects such as 【Paralyze】 or 【Confusion】.
“We either stop them with binding skills, or through brute force.”
One method would be repeatedly striking them with lightning-element attacks to forcefully disrupt the control of their bodies. Doing so would prevent them from following the party.
If binding, like status effects, turned out to be ineffective, the only way was to inflict enough damage to slow down their movements.
“Could we distract them with some lure?”
“They’re all really huge, though…”
Shin considered Filma’s decoy strategy too. The 3 Sea Beasts, however, were all much larger than Shin’s party. They had no idea about the size of lure large enough to distract them.
Turning it into an item card would mean the weight was not a problem, but procuring such a lure would be very difficult. Even if they used Tsuki no Hokora’s creation device, using precious ingredients filled with unique magic as a lure sounded like a waste.
“Wouldn’t they just swallow us whole while the lure’s materializing anyway?”
That was the greatest concern. If the monsters ate them up while the item was still appearing, it would be all for nothing.
“…you’d be okay, Shin.”
“My HP would, sure! But mentally I wouldn’t!!”
Shin wouldn’t enjoy having to cut his way out from the monster’s belly. Filma’s idea was obviously out.
“Anyway, we have to build the ship first…”
Shin emitted a tired sigh and put off the conclusion to the problem for later.