Shin’s group arrived again at the shipyard just as the usual workday was coming to an end. Peeking inside, they saw the workers starting to clean up before leaving for the day.
“Oh, you’re back, huh.”
Zigma spotted the group right away and approached them.
“Yes. What about Zazie and the others?”
“They’re already in the back. Want me to go call them?”
“No, we’ll head over there ourselves. I guess it’ll take some more time until the workers leave anyway.”
“You got a point there.”
In the room where they had spoken with Zigma earlier that day, Shin found Shigureya’s members, as the chief carpenter had said.
They killed time chatting, then headed to the work area after they made sure the workers had all gone home.
“What did you do with the ship you were working on?”
“Zazie turned it into a card. After all, it would be a waste to just dispose of it.”
The chief had no intention of throwing away the materials.
“I’ll get to work right away, then.”
Shin nodded to Zigma’s words and started choosing the parts he needed from the item box. From Zigma’s viewpoint, it probably looked like Shin was drawing something in the air with his index finger.
“It’ll only take an instant, so please make sure you don’t blink.”
Shin activated the skill and the ship’s completed plans appeared in his head. In the game, they would have appeared in a separate menu window.
Where there were missing or excess parts, the plans would flash red. In the map in Shin’s head, however, there were no red spots.
Shin activated a key command and the item cards swirled in midair, shining brightly. The lights, as if they had a will of their own, changed shape and formed a ship.
“Wh-what in blazes…!?”
Zigma’s utterly surprised voice escaped his lips. He had probably expected a skill that combined all of the ship’s parts in an instant. Seeing the lights change shape in front of his eyes would have surely been shocking had he not known about the skill.
A few moments after the lights started changing shape, a ship not unlike a large cruiser, was formed.
“Our main objective is exploration, so I focused on movement and defense.”
The ships created by players had different performance based on the parts used. Shin had chosen parts that would allow the ship to move with agility even during storms, and resist surprise attacks from monsters. It looked like a ship that would travel by floating on the sea, but it was actually a magic vessel that could also submerge if necessary.
“Well I’ll be…what is even going on here!?”
“This skill lets you instantly combine the parts you have into the finished product. Well, even I can’t explain why it looks like lights changing shape though.”
Shin couldn’t say that it was a video game’s visual effect.
“Can I touch it?”
“Yes, I’m going….to inspect it too.”
As soon as Shin had consented, Zigma rushed towards the ship with the eyes of a carnivore pouncing on newly spotted prey. It looked like he had only listened to the first word Shin said.
“Nghwaaahhh!! What’s this smooth coating!? Not a single wrinkle. The dense magic power contained in each part. But it’s all harmonised together, forming an even stronger bond!!!”
Shin’s group was rendered speechless for a while by Zigma’s sudden change.
The chief jumped on board of the docked ship and analyzed the materials and techniques used in its creation, his eyes blood-red. He hugged the ship tight, as if licking its surface, in order to analyze it: he almost looked like he had used some dangerous substance.
“Chief, you really should calm down a little.”
“Hah!? What was I doing!?”
Zigma regained lucidity thanks to a chop from Zazie. His enthusiasm had not simmered though, and he started bombarding Shin with questions about which processing techniques he had used.
“I said calm down.”
A chop slightly stronger than the one before collided with Zigma’s head. Zazie was showing less and less restraint.
“You only need to look at it to know how it was made, don’t you chief?”
“Kh, this is frustrating, frustrating I tell ya…if only I was 20 years younger, I’d plead him to make me his disciple, even if I had to throw away everything I had!”
Zigma’s passionate words convinced everyone that he was speaking from the heart.
“That’s just impossible. Mr. Shin’s techniques are just out of this world…and that’s an understatement.”
“Gah, hearing that makes it all the more frustrating.”
The chief’s artisan spirit was definitely burning. His eyes sparkled like a child with a new toy, but also burned with the flame of a warrior eager to do battle.
“Anyway, I trust you have no objections about the ship now?”
“No shipyard in Barbatos would have objections about this. If Zazie and the girls hadn’t explained to me in detail, I wouldn’t have believed this was made with spare parts, that’s for sure.”
Zigma answered while looking all over the ship.
“Okay, I’m going to check the inside of the ship, so look at the exterior as much as you want. Please don’t come inside though. The anti-intruder magic enchantments would pulverize you.”
“Ngh, that’s a darn shame.”
A function of all vehicles was that only after the creator registered other people’s names could they board said vehicle safely. In case the creation of the vehicle had been commissioned, it was possible to change ownership by registering the commissioner’s name first.
“Now we can go look for lord Cook’s guildhouse.”
“Yes…I’ll find it no matter what.”
“It took a long time.”
In contrast with Zigma’s excitement, Lapwing, Zazie, Bell, and Shell were quietly rejoicing. After hearing the elf’s story, they had gathered materials for the ship, looked for able carpenters, negotiated, then finally the ship’s construction had started. The materials, however, were difficult to work without skills, so they had been told that it would take at least 10 years before completion. They were obviously overwhelmed now.
“Looks like there are no problems about the ship’s capabilities either. I already registered everyone. We’ll test it tomorrow, and if all goes well we can leave the day after tomorrow.”
Shin informed the group of his plans after checking the ship’s functionality.
“We’ll make preparations. If it’s a ship lord Shin made, I’m sure there won’t be any problems.”
After Lapwing’s words, Bell and Shell also expressed their approval, both giving thumbs up.
It was Shin’s first time using the skill after coming to this world however, so he wanted to test the ship and check it thoroughly.
“If you’re not going to move it until tomorrow, can I look over it until then?”
“Yes, go ahead.”
“Hmm, feel free to take your time tomorrow too.”
Zigma definitely wanted to examine the ship as much as he could before Shin’s group arrived. It was also very clear that he had no intention of sleeping that night.
“I was thinking of doing the test tomorrow at nine, is that all right?”
“No problem. We’ll prepare everything necessary today”
Bell and Shell echoed Lapwing’s answer, while Zazie silently bowed her head.
After one last greeting to Zigma, who was jotting down notes while looking at the ship, Shin and the others left the shipyard.
Shin’s group had not secured a place to stay yet, but thanks to Lapwing’s introduction they could check into one of the best luxury lodgings in Barbatos. The owner was a fan of Shigureya they had said. The party could pay the lodging fee without problems, so they decided to take two rooms and split based on gender.
“Okay then, let’s get that over with.”
After dinner, Shin’s party gathered in the room the females were assigned. As expected of a luxury class hotel, the room could easily accommodate at least five people and two animals.
“Tiera, you have two new pieces of equipment, huh. Hmm, this is pretty plain, but this is a bit too flashy to wear on the regular…”
“I picked one for close range and one for long range combat, just in case. The appearance…is kind of concerning, I have to agree.”
One was a dark-colored shirt and mantle. The other was a sparkly armor, which reminded of a “warrior maiden” style. As Filma said, their appearance swung wildly between the plain and flashy ends of the spectrum.
“Leaving the Bow Princess set aside, we could make the Heat Haze series a bit cuter. She’s a girl after all, she has to dress nicely too.”
“Is it possible to make it cuter though?”
“If Shin helps, sure.”
Filma looked at Shin and he nodded.
Tiera’s Bow Princess and Heat Haze equipment sets were in their default design, in other words their initial settings. Using them like that was not a problem, but the design could be modified too.
In the game, creation-type jobs tried all sorts of modifications and colorings in order to express their originality, creating many different designs.
“Let’s hear some ideas then. About the accessories, how would red look instead of gold, for the hairpin? So it matches her eyes’ color better…”
“An all-black mantle is a bit too simple too. We might as well—-”
Schnee joined Filma in helping to make the designs cuter. The three looked at the changed designs Shin created with his skills and debated on which was best.
“E-er…is it only me, or is the equipment getting gradually smaller? Were the pants always this short? Was there so much skin exposed?”
Tiera raised objections while looking at the changing designs, but couldn’t stop the three’s momentum.
“You can only hope that the result is something proper to wear.”
Shibaid shook his head, well aware that it wasn’t possible to stop them anymore.
“Kuh, the atmosphere is so tense!”
Yuzuha and Kagerou seemed excited to see the results of the debate.
After about 30 minutes, which felt excruciatingly longer to Tiera, Shin’s “this should be enough” signaled the end of the process.
“Try them on now.”
Shin handed Tiera the cards, a satisfied look on his face. She looked at the cards’ illustrations, wondering if it really was the same equipment as before.
The shirt’s sleeves had been largely cut off, turning it into a sleeveless one. The color had been changed to white, with a light green line drawing a flower-looking pattern on the chest area.
The pants were now around the same length as hotpants, the boots became short boots and the mantle into a hooded long coat with a faded silver crescent moon mark on its back.
The former plainness was nowhere to be found.
“Wow! Doesn’t it look good on you?”
“That’s about it.”
Looking at Tiera wearing the gear set, Shin and the other creators expressed their satisfaction.
“T-that’s nice, I guess.”
Tiera looked at herself with the help of a mirror and seemed to enjoy the result too.
“While it’s good that it became cuter, won’t white and gold stand out too much?”
Tiera had not forgotten that the attire was meant to be for combat, so she wondered if the original design wouldn’t have been better for stealth purposes. Shin then explained that as battle started, the equipment’s effect would make it look the same color as the surroundings to the enemies’ eyes.
Even if the color was faded, the hairpin was now gold, to match Tiera’s eyes, so it looked like it would stand out, but it too, would be concealed like the shirt. The hairpin was also not just a decoration, but could notify the wearer when they had been spotted by enemies.
“The Bow Princess set is fine as is?”
Filma asked, her arms crossed, while looking at Tiera wearing the Bow Princess gear set.
This set’s default design was pretty popular.
“We can change that too if we want to.”
Filma, however, shook her head.
“I’m not really familiar with armor designs, so I say it’s fine as is for now.”
The Bow Princess set not only had outstanding stats, but its design was gorgeous too, so they decided to leave it alone.
“Let’s move on to swimsuit designs, then.”
“Agh, there was that too…”
Shin had informed Tiera that since there were two new sets of equipment, they would have to make them usable underwater.
“Why can’t you enchant them without me wearing them, anyway?”
Tiera, standing before Shin in her Bow Princess attire, voiced her complaints.
“Don’t ask me.”
The underwater enchantment could be cast to other players or NPCs, as long as they were wearing the equipment in question. Sometimes the resulting costume was very risque, so even if it was just an avatar wearing it, it could be pretty embarrassing.
Because of this, in the game era most players asked an enchanting artisan of the same gender to do it.
“Don’t give me something weird again, okay?”
“It all depends on your luck.”
Shin then activated the magic enchantment. Tiera’s Bow Princess set started glowing, then changed shape. When the light faded away, it revealed a one piece with vivid blue and green gradations.
“This will do.”
“Is that okay? We can stock a design after it appears once, so you can check others too if you want?”
Tiera decided instantly, so Shin asked if she was sure, but she said that she’d rather not risk having weird costumes appear.
“Let’s get to the next, then? What will come out this time?”
Tiera changed to the Heat Haze set and Shin cast the enchantment again.
This time Tiera’s swimwear was a black pareo, same-colored bottoms and a white tube top, something very similar to when she had tried the Amazoness set previously.
“Not bad, isn’t it? It looks like the equipment became the swimwear, pretty much.”
The swimsuit’s coloring and design was similar to the Heat Haze set’s new design. This also was a result of having changed the default design.
“It’s not bad, yes, but it feels like there’s less cloth?”
Tiera too, like Shin, did not find the swimsuit’s design bad. It was also true, however, that the tube top cloth covering her breasts was a bit lacking in size.
“No need to worry yourself over it, should we try the next one?”
Tiera’s words had directed Shin’s attention to her chest; the sharp chill from the stare he then felt on his back prompted him to encourage Tiera to try another design.
“Yes, I guess that’s better.”
Tiera agreed and Shin cast the enchantment again. The next swimsuit was composed of black hotpants-like bottoms and a white bikini.
Maybe because of an unknown rule, the bikini was rather small as well.
“Shin, you aren’t doing this on purpose, are you?”
“Well, Shin’s a boy after all, it’s not weird for him to prefer the sexy type.”
Shin shook his head as fiercely as he could in response to Tiera, Filma, and Schnee’s words and looks.
“Wait just a second!! You’re saying it like it’s my fault, but the size of the cloth can’t be adjusted, okay!?”
Shin cast the enchantment several other times, but each design had very limited cloth extension.
“Is this because we changed the original design?”
“Well, we did make it a lot more “open” than the default one. I never heard that it would influence the swimsuit though.”
If the same thing happened frequently, information about it would have spread.
“Will reverting the design solve the problem?”
“That’s no good Schnee, we made it cuter, it’d be a waste to discard it now. There might be a bit more exposure, but defensive power doesn’t change, so isn’t that fine?”
Filma opposed Schnee’s idea of changing the Heat Haze set’s design to the default one.
Despite its appearance, the equipment retained its stats even in underwater mode.
Using an extreme example, even the skimpiest swimsuit, covering only the important parts, would have had the same defense underwater; even if the wearer appeared completely naked.
Filma was of the opinion that as long as performance was the same, some more skin exposure shouldn’t be a problem.
“What do you think, Tiera? We can try.”
“Hmm, well…it’s a bit embarrassing, but…I’ll keep it like this.”
“That’s my Tiera, I knew you’d say that!”
Filma nodded happily, while Tiera gave a wry laugh.
“Since we’re doing this and all, why don’t we change our swimsuits’ design too?”
“Filma, we’re not going to play tomorrow, you know? Besides it takes work to do that.”
“It wouldn’t be much work for Shin though.”
“Well, yeah, this much is nothing…”
Casting enchantments didn’t require a lot of MP, so Shin’s burden was next to zero. There was no need for preparations and it was still early to go to sleep, so if they wanted to do it Shin had no reason to refuse.
“What do you say, Shibaid?”
“No, I’ll pass. I don’t see the necessity of changing it.”
“….but yours is a loincloth, right?”
Filma meant to ask if Shibaid was really okay with it, but the latter nodded all too naturally.
Shibaid’s swimwear was a red and silver loincloth.
Shin had decided on it half as a joke during the game era, so he was okay with changing it now, but judging from Shibaid’s powerful nod, he must have liked it a lot.
“If he says that works, no need to force him then. It doesn’t look like Schnee would be on board either, so let’s leave the swimsuit fashion show for after we recover Celciutos.”
“What are you talking about…”
Schnee held her head with her hands, as if physically troubled by Filma’s announcement.
“I’m talking about knocking Shin out with our super sexy costumes, of course! I’ve been thinking about it ever since I heard that we’re going to the pool.”
“Filma, be a little more serious, please.”
“I am completely serious. If we want to keep Shin here, we have to use every chance we can.”
“I suppose so, but…”
“Shin was the one to set your physique, Schnee, so if we use that, we might have a chance.”
No matter how large the room was, with five people inside there couldn’t be a lot of distance between them.
Were they talking hoping that Shin heard, or did they think that no one could hear them? In any case, Shin could hear everything the two said. Tiera did too: blushing fiercely, she mumbled the words, “knock out…swimwear…”
Shibaid heard everything too, as evidenced by his tired expression.
“Let us go rest for today. Or this will never end.”
Deciding to leave the girls alone, Shin decided to turn in early.