A Discussion About Routes
And so, a whole day passed.
『Well I mean, this is a merchant ship, soooooo…』
『Yeah, it looks like this is where they keep all the foodstuffs.』
We’d already started exploring the ship’s interior. At first, there hadn’t really been much to see, reason being that we’d started atop the deck and slowly made our way down. Most of the sailors’ rooms were located near the deck so they could react quickly in the case of an emergency. Hence, the first area we ran into was the only one we weren’t allowed to check out in too much detail.
Most of the rooms on the lower floors were just storerooms. The door to the room with most of the more valuable stuff in it was locked, but pretty much everything else was still open to exploration.
All we found in the storehouses were boxes, bags, and a whole tonne of dust, but Fran was having fun looking around nonetheless.
Likewise, I also hadn’t lost interest in looking at all the odd ingredients, nor the strangely designed goods the boxes seemed to contain.
We left the storehouse area and entered a room near one of the ship’s outermost sides. There, we found a huge, cylindrical lump of metal with a hole in the middle. Its surface almost seemed to give off a sort of dark glow.
『Looks like a magical cannon. It uses those balls of iron as ammo and propels them with magic.』
「Why iron balls?」
『The projectiles it fires are weaker than actual spells, but are probably much more efficient with mana. It runs on magical energy, but it probably only has a finite amount of it.』
The cannons we were looking at seemed to be rather high class, as they could switch between physical and magical rounds. The physical rounds were probably for other ships, while the magical rounds would instead be used on magic beasts.
I couldn’t help but feel that the cannon was much bigger than the ones we had back on Earth, in part because it had a magical engine strapped to it.
We ventured further downstairs after inspecting the cannon and found ourselves in the ship’s lowermost subsection. Most of the space was taken up by the ship’s ballast tanks, many of which were filled with water. The second largest room, however, had an item of interest in it, another large magical device. Said device was almost constantly emitting a sort of low-pitched rumble.
『I guess this is probably the engine the captain was talking about earlier.』
「Nn. Really loud.」
『Hmm… that part has water coming out of it, and this one looks something like a pump.』
The engine seemed to be the aqua jet type. It used a huge pump to suck in water and then forcefully ejected it in order to propel the ship forwards.
Several of the ejection devices were placed around the ship’s hull. It seemed like it could use them to not only change direction, but also make tight turns.
We’d more or less finished exploring, and Fran wanted to get a bit of exercise, so we headed back up to the deck in hopes of being able to find a spot to do a few practice swings. Upon arrival, we found that the deck was actually quite busy. Jerome was ordering the sailors around as they scrambled to raise the masts.
「We’re finally out that damned gulf! Men, get ready to sail!」
「Get your lazy asses ready! We’re going full speed ahead ’till we hit the Kraken’s Nest!」
One of the things the captain had said immediately nabbed my attention.
「Oh hey, didn’t see ya. The Kraken’s Nest is exactly what it sounds like, a danger zone where you’ll find a whole shitload of Kraken.」
「Well, I guess you could say that.」
I knew the ship had a barrier that let it ward off large magic beasts, but I couldn’t help but feel as if passing through a place called the Kraken’s Nest wasn’t too good of an idea.
「We aren’t actually going to be passing right through it. We’ll just be skimming the edge of it is all.」
Fortunately, the captain’s intentions hadn’t been what I was imagining them to be.
Kraken were the local ecosystem’s top predator, so most other magic beasts naturally chose to avoid their territory. This was especially true of medium sized magic beasts, as kraken had the tendency to prey on them.
「We shouldn’t have to worry about getting attacked by magic beasts there so long as we mind the kraken.」
I was worried that a kraken would attack us and totally screw us over, but, according to Jerome, the chances of that were particularly low. The barrier was designed to make the ship especially difficult for kraken to detect.
As I wasn’t completely convinced, I had Fran ask about the other larger magic beasts that lived in the area, to which the captain replied with a rather simple answer: there were none. The only large magic beasts that lived in the area were the kraken.
「The patch of sea between the Gilbard continent, from which we just departed, and the Chrom continent, our destination, is only a couple hundred meters deep. Relatively speaking, it’s quite shallow.」
Apparently, most of the other oceans were much, much deeper.
「Most B ranked magic beasts, like Whale Lords, Water Dragons, Leviathans, and Dagons, prefer to live in deeper waters.」
None of the types of magic beasts the captain had just mentioned had ever been spotted in the space between the Gilbard and Chrom continents.
「But the part of the sea between the Gilbard and Brohdinn continents, the Demon Sea, makes up for it. It’s filled with powerful beasts, and has even got the world’s one and only known S rank leviathan.」
The legendary leviathan in question was said to be over 1000 meters long, capable of creating tsunamis while turning over in its sleep, and, all in all, one of the strongest magic beasts to have ever existed.
That said, very little was known about it. Sightings were few and far between. There was, however, a significant mention of it dating about 3000 years back in which it completely obliterated a coastal nation that’d pissed it off overnight. Said report was likely true as it had apparently been confirmed by someone with an oracle-type skill.
One of the most surprising but well known facts about it noted in the aforementioned report was that the S ranked leviathan’s staple food was in fact the Midgard Wyrm, an A ranked magic beast. It would leave its nest, capture one, and then slowly feast on it over the course of about 100 years. Most sightings of it would happen precisely during these hunting sessions.
Naturally, the legendary leviathan was only one of the many massive magic beasts that inhabited the Demon Sea, so most ships going between Gilbart and Brohdinn would avoid passing through it. They’d instead take a safer route and stop by Chrom along the way. The route we were currently on was just that much safer.
But despite that, it still had enough kraken for one of its subsections to be labeled the Kraken’s Nest.
「You won’t have to worry about encountering any Kraken. This ship’s got all the kraken countermeasures a sailor could ever ask for.」
「But we’ve dedicated most of our resources to it, so we’ll have to be relying on you to deal with pirates and all the other magic beasts, y’hear?」
「Got it. Leave to me.」