“I wasn’t given much time, but considering I think the end product speaks for itself.” The Shipwright showed us the completed product gleefully.
In only two days, it was considered quite magnificent. Well, it wasn’t like I knew much about boats, but it was boat-shaped. Although it introduced mithril in it, the entire boat wasn’t composed of mithril. That would be obscenely expensive, and even out of the range of most countries. However, mithril was used where normally metal would be. The wood was supposedly magic-infused ash that was resistant to fire, magic, and also had a high strength. To test it, he had me give a sample piece of two by two to my strongest girl, Terra, and see if she could break it.
“Ah… it broke.”
“Th-that! It’s because she’s a no-breasted abomination! Give it to your second strongest!”
Well, it turned out I couldn’t break it nor could any of the other girls. Perhaps giving it to a girl who was most skilled at identifying and exploiting structural weakness and creating impenetrable barriers wasn’t the fairest measure to use. She was quite depressed about his no-breast comment, though, so I’d have to comfort her later.
The boat had special sails, oars, and sticks to be able to navigate us around most situations. If the situation got dangerous, you could duck down, and the upper portion could be sealed with a rolling cover. It looked a bit like a roof with a triangle tent shape. It was a bit tight fitting us all inside the boat with it closed, but water would just roll off if it was raining and enemy attacks would harmlessly bounce off. At night, we could sleep in it without fear of rolling off or having something jump on board.
Considering flood situations, monsters jumping on board while we were asleep, and leaping attacks weren’t even things I considered, I felt like this guy probably knew what he was doing. The ship was wide enough that it wouldn’t get knocked over easily but short enough that it could navigate tight corners if needed. All things considered, he built exactly what he promised.
He said it also could cut through the break if we ever planned to go out onto the ocean, and was also able to navigate rivers and ponds too. In short, it was an all-purpose boat that could be used for plenty of purposes. The only thing it lacked in my mind was an engine.
“Motorized transport?” he asked, feeling confused.
“Ah, well, if you put just a propeller on the back of the boat and made it spin really fast, you could push the boat along and then turn it by moving the propeller left and right with a handle.”
I tried to explain everything I knew about motorboats to him, which was just about what I had said. I reckoned that in a world with magic where indoor plumping and various other feats had been accomplished, it wouldn’t be too hard to create a motorboat.
“This… is a splendid idea!” He grew excited. “I will definitely add this feature to the boat. Give me some time to draw up some plans, and I will begin to assemble the parts. The propeller will have to be mithril… oh… that will take some time…”
Did he really have to use mithril for everything? Ah well, if it was strong, then I shouldn’t complain. He got lost in designing thoughts, so I decided to escort myself out. He had a special storage ring to put the boat in, so I used that to grab the boat. I found I could put storage rings into my Inventory, so that was an easy way to protect those items. The problem was that I only had Inventory if I had True Hero equipped. Well, with a 2nd job, it was my primary job most of the time anyway, but I still worried about such things.
I had half expected to run into Alysia again, but she was nowhere in sight. Perhaps she had taken her loss and did as Octius wanted. As for Octius and Otto, they were returning to the border today to meet their father. As for Eliana and the Prince, they returned to the castle. Eliana looked like she wanted to talk to me in private, but between getting tied to a bed by a Dark Fairy and fighting to the death with Alysia, along with the time demand the girls all placed on me, that ended up not happening.
“Make sure to bring Father back, dead or alive.”
“Eh? Don’t you want him alive?”
“Even if he dies, we can resurrect him. In many ways, killing him would be faster.” Eliana’s expression darkened when her father was brought up.
“Still, isn’t this your father?”
“I trust in Deek’s judgement.” The Prince smiled before signaling the Blue Mage to send him on his way back to the Capital.
“Deek, are we returning back to Chalm?” Shao asked, breaking me from my current thoughts.
I shook my head. “No, we’re going to Alerith.”
“Eh? Lord Reign’s city? Aren’t you technically wanted there?”
“He tried to kill me, but I don’t think there is an official warrant for my arrest.”
They don’t know I’m the one who got rid of those Knights and soldiers, and they weren’t really officially Lord Reign’s soldiers in the first place. If he got a hold of me, he’d probably try to deliver a lot of awkward questions and maybe even try to arrest me on trumped-up charges, but he wouldn’t make them until he already had me in custody for fear of retribution. Once you killed someone, it was easy enough to fake an excuse, but before that happened, I had the power to run to the Princess or cause other troubles. So, while Alerith wasn’t safe for me, it wasn’t like my face was on every corner.
Besides, I didn’t really need to worry since I could change my face. I had gotten an artifact that allowed me to hide in such a manner, as well as using Shao’s special skill. Either would be enough that I could move around Alerith easily. Furthermore, it wasn’t a problem, since I had things set up there already.
I was currently using Miki to cast Portals. She was the highest mana user beside Celeste, and I had already decided on the layout of Celeste’s five dungeon points. I didn’t feel like twisting them around, so I used Miki since she was available.
For Celeste, I had given her Reset, Adaptive Outfit, Feature Masking, Mana Regen Plus, and Cast Speed Plus. Adaptive Outfit allowed Celeste to independently change the size of her clothing. Since magically enhanced clothing that changed sizes were expensive and difficult to obtain, this was a decent alternative. It would also make holes in clothing for tails, wings, and anything else someone would need on the fly. Feature Masking allowed her to hide her features, that being her wings.
I had noticed this ability after seeing Shao on the beach with a hood on. I realized she could hide her horns so that she could show her pretty face more. I realized that it would also be useful for Celeste so she could move around easier. Her sparkly wings did bring a lot of notice to our group wherever we went. As for the abilities of the other two, they naturally amplified her spell-casting, and thus seemed suited for her. Since these were only tier 1 abilities, they weren’t the best out there, but they definitely gave her an edge over those that didn’t have them. Of course, she might gain those abilities from her jobs eventually when they reached a higher level, so they may not be useful forever.
After gathering everyone up, I created two Portals, some were sent back to Chalm, while the rest of us headed to Alerith. I just had to check on a few things in Alerith, and then it was back to the Widow’s Dungeon with us. After nearly a week of performing various chores, I could finally get back to the job at hand. It felt somewhat refreshing.
“This is seriously the place you rented? You know… I gave you a lot of coins…”
“That’s not the problem!” Drake cried, bowing his head down on the ground. “It’s just that this Lord Reign guy charges an arm and a leg for taxes. Getting any property in the city is nearly impossible, and everything costs money.”
I had vaguely noticed before that Alerith seemed to cost a lot, but I had mostly avoided it by living off the dungeon. It turned out that Lord Reign was unreasonable with his citizens.
In the small space was Drake and his two cohorts, my party, me, and then Carmine and Salicia. We were currently in a small dump of a place that looked like it belonged in a poor district, but these guys insisted it was the best they could buy given the coin I had given them. At first, I had thought that they had pocketed the coin, but they were living in these conditions too and didn’t seem the type to hold on to money where comfort was involved. That was especially the case for Carmine and Salicia, who were trapped in the same room to Salicia’s delight.
“Please… Master, I will happily fight to the death for you, but living in this squalor is unbecoming of a beauty like me!”
“You can consider this part of your punishment for spending excessively, and since you had a short vacation, consider that your reward for doing well the last week.” I sighed, deciding not to give them any increase in salary for the moment before turning back to Drake, who was still on the ground. “How is the progress?”
“Carmine has been registered as a gladiator in the upcoming match. She will be fighting tomorrow in the pits. Since she was able to bypass the preliminaries, these will be the first ranked matches she will participate in. Right now, being as she’s unknown, the current betting is in our favor. Should we put some money down?”
I sighed and pulled out ten gold coins. “Don’t go overboard.”
“Of course!” He finally stood up and smoothly pocketed the money. “The gladiator board doesn’t suspect a thing. We’re the managers of the slave Carmine, who is owned by a mysterious rich merchant. Salicia is her coach. That’s the current story we’re going with.”
“If you increase in ranking, I’ll consider giving you more pocket money,” I finally responded.
Carmine’s eyes brightened, and the three men all looked excitedly at each other. In truth, they already didn’t regret working for me. As they said, this place was as good as their place in the Capital anyway, where they rented from a shady noble and were unable to own property. As for going to the beach, it wasn’t something they had hoped to do in their entire lives, so it was already a job that had paid off dividends in their minds.
If they continued to work well for me, I might find them a position in Chalm that suited them. Although they were all a bit shady, they also had an earnest side to them that I didn’t disagree with. I didn’t really like being in the cramped property, and I didn’t want to accidentally be seen outside it, so we discussed everything we needed to discuss and then I opened my third Portal for the day. It was time to finally tackle the 27th floor of the Widow’s Dungeon.