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“Haurvatat, where exactly are we going?”
As fatigue began to set in her feet, Marina asked Haurvatat when she started heading east after exiting the town of Port Ithaca.
She did get to rest in the village but it was only for an hour inside a diner as Haurvatat gathered information. Originally, she thought that she would finally be able to sleep on a warm bed and while she would not be able to take a bath as the price of fresh water soared being near the sea, she thought that she would be able to at least wipe down her body with warm water. For that sake, Marina pushed her weary legs and didn’t utter a word of complaint until now.
Obviously, she knew that Haurvatat was running around gathering information while she was resting and she even carried both their shares of luggage as Marina had low stamina.
Nevertheless, Marina was worried.
Whether Haurvatat’s haste would invite something ill to befall them.
And her premonition was spot on.
“We’re now heading to where the pirates are.”
“Well then, maybe I’ll go back now.”
Marina was caught by Haurvatat as she turned heel to return.
“Please wait, the pirates in this town almost never attack people and there are none who have committed crimes. They only maintain security in exchange for a higher price.”
“Is that so… but you see… my mask has the power to overlook the future, it’s dangerous to proceed ahead.”
“If it has the power to overlook the future then you will be all right even if we proceed.”
“No, I meant to say it can predict the future “ (Note: Overlook and predict have the same pronunciation in Japanese.)
Marina seriously wanted to go back.
“Please have some resolve. It will be fine, we are just going to pass the pirates some money to bring us to the meeting with the Port Kobe pirates happening today and then ask those pirates to let us on their ship that will return to Port Kobe.”
“Doesn’t that mean we will be facing danger twice?!”
“Don’t worry, if we can’t settle it with words then we can just settle it with force.”
“Isn’t that even more dangerous?!”
“Don’t worry. Marina-san knows my skill with the sword. Moreover, even when push comes to shove, I still have the support of the Great Magician Marina-san.”
After Haurvatat said that, Marina who was eager to return suddenly gave a slight grin.
“Hahaha, exactly the case, Haurvatat. Ten or twenty pirates are no match for my great magic. You can proceed with ease of mind as you have a reliable support like me backing you - rather, we will actually be riding on a large ship.”(Note: In Japanese, there is a saying ‘Riding on a large ship’ which means to gain a reliable foundation and be in a safe condition, so she’s making a pun out of it.)
Haurvatat seemed to have pretty much gotten used to handling Marina due to the long time they have spent together.
“Nevertheless, I’m at a loss. I seem to be weak against sea breeze.”
Haurvatat muttered as she pinched her nose. Because of the sea breeze, she could hardly tell the surrounding scent.
It happened then.
“What is that?”
Towards the west, a large fireball soared into the sky.
And, just as they thought it disappeared, a huge explosion occurred.
“… What was that? A new type of fireworks in the Otherworld?”
“No, I’m not very sure… but, perhaps - “
Haurvatat made a speculation.
And then, Haurvatat and Marina arrived at the pirate’s hideout -
At the same time, the interior of the Port Ithaca pirate ship was silent.
Especially the Pirate Captain who felt like he had been to this world’s hell.
Half of the fishing grounds - - at first glance, it was the same as previous years and there were no problems.
However, since they knew that the Port Kobe pirates were no more, they proclaimed to the Port Ithaca citizens.
“This time, we will secure at least 90% or even the entire fishing ground for you all! Those Port Kobe guys will have to be satisfied with catching the stray shrimps outside the fishing grounds. In exchange, pay 5 times the amount of deposit this year.”
They ended up claiming that and actually collected 5 times the deposit.
Some might say it will be fine if they return it but there’s the issue of reputation and more importantly, such extra income was converted into alcohol long ago.
What will people say about them if they could only secure half the fishing ground?
However, even though the Captain didn’t personally see the fearfulness of the Port Kobe pirate as he was unconscious, that person was terrifying.
If they defied him, there would be a possibility that he would snatch the entire fishing ground the next time.
What should he do?
The Captain still could not reach a conclusion and he wanted to ponder more once they returned to their hideout…
He assumed that he would figure out a plan with a good meal and alcohol - - in other words, he was escaping from reality using alcohol.
The pirate’s hideout was just a row of small huts on stilts in the bay.
However, there was a spring with high-quality water there and more importantly, the place was facing the sea.
It was paradise to the pirates.
As soon as the ship arrived, the subordinates the Captain left at the hideout immediately ran out.
But they did not know how the talks went today.
And he did not feel like telling them about it while being sober.
“I’ll talk to you guys later. Prepare the alcohol first!”
“It’s not that, Captain! There are guests who wish to see you.”
“Now is not the time for that! Tell them to leave!”
“I said that too but she’s an absurdly strong girl who suppressed 20 armed men with her bare hands without any injuries.”
At that instant, the man was struck by a devilish bolt of inspiration. Or that was what he thought but anybody could have thought of that plan.
“I’ll go there now. Show me the way.”
The captain was led to the usual canteen.
Waiting for him there were a White Wolf race female Swordsman and a female Magician with a strange mask on. Furthermore, the two of them appeared to be slaves.
“Oi, who’s the strong one?”
The lackey replied the Captain in a voice soft enough that the two of them would not hear it.
“The White Wolf race.”
The man gave a brave smile and stood in front of the two waiting girls.
“Thank you for waiting. I am this pirate gang’s captain. You can call me captain or boss. I don’t like to be called by my name so I won’t give you my name.”
“Understood, Captain-san. I am Haurvatat, a traveling Swordsman.”
“I am the Great Magician Marina. Remember it well.”
“I see. So, what can I do for you?”
“Actually, following our master’s orders, we wish to travel to Port Kobe. Could you please let us ride your ship?”
The Captain thought so after he heard her story.
People who look for them at this season would mostly be those who wish to utilize the pirates to ferry them. Normally he would gladly accept their request in exchange for money but - -
“Sorry, but I can’t do that. This year, a troublesome man has joined the Port Kobe pirates. Originally, the agreement was we get 80% and they get 20% of the fishing grounds but he actually pushed for it to be half-half. If we do that, the country’s Shijimon Shrimp distribution would be interrupted. That bastard actually plans to do the unthinkable by exporting the shrimps for money. That’s what happened during the negotiations today. The negotiation will happen tomorrow too but there’s no guarantee that the fellow pirates on that side will ferry you. Sorry, but you will have to leave.”
“We’ll do something about it there — please ferry us to the negotiation island. We’ll negotiate with the Port Kobe pirates there. We will pay if it is money you want.”
”… There’s only one way. In a situation where we pirates can’t come to conclusion, we can settle it by two other methods. An all-out fight between all pirates. Or a one-on-one fight between Captains. The side that loses that match will have to accept whatever conditions the other party put out so it is a double-edged sword to us pirates. Of course, the conditions will be stated before the match.”
The Captain laughed.
“Will you consider participating in the one-on-one fight as the Captain. Of course, there will be risks but you won’t lose with your skills. Even if you lose, nobody will complain. Once you win the match, you can just ask the opposing pirates to let you ride their ship. The opponent has absolute confidence in his strength so he will definitely agree to the match.”
”… Was everything that you said true?”
Haurvatat agonized for a little before she sent an eye signal to Marina and nodded.
“All right. I will participate in the one-on-one fight.”
“Ooo, I see. Tonight will be celebratory drinks if you’ve made up your minds! You bastards, bring the alcohol this instant!”
“I don’t drink. Though I would like a bed.”
“I see, all right. You can use our dormitory. Oi, somebody! Show these masters to the dormitory!”
Thus Haurvatat and Marina would be attending the next day’s talks.
“Jofre, what is this work you talk about?”
Julio and party were riding on a pull cart pulled by Centaur.
As they had started traveling in a party of 5, they procured it in the Cat Sith village.
Even though the weight could easily surpass 300kg with 5 people on it, that was like an empty cart before the force of Centaur.
“Crew member, crew! We’ll be riding a ship! We’re going to the Southern Continent. I plan to have an acquaintance at Port Ithaca let us ride on his boat.”
“But in this season, there are no connecting boats due to the Shijimon fishing.”
Sutchino heard people mutter that just now when he was counting his earnings from the golden fleece he sold at the border town.
His intuition told him that he would somehow earn gold if he followed Jofre and the others but he thought to himself that maybe he was wrong.
“Don’t worry. There are still ships sailing during this season. I’ve contacted them with this just now.”
Jofre took out the bracelet called the Friendship Ring once used by Ichinojo to form a formed party.
“Establishing contact through the bracelet, is it similar to Milky’s talisman?”
Milky’s job, Magic Journalist, can create a talisman capable of allowing conversations between people separated by a long distance. However, it was disposable.
“It’s something similar. But it apparently loses its ability once it is beyond a 1000km.”
“Heh, that’s quite convenient. I wonder how much would it sell for?”
Sutchino started counting his chickens before they hatched.
“So, who is that other party?”
“Oh, his name is —”
The instant Jofre announced his name,
Milky raised a strange noise and collapsed.
She had a face full of smiles while surprisingly not having a nosebleed.
But it was not unexpected for her.
Because that was the name of a great senior Doujinshi writer who Milky really admired, Big Second.
Because that man once defeated the Demon Lord together with the hero, his real name, Daijiro.
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