15-7. Dejima Island
Satou's here. When I hear the words 'sailing ship', it reminds me of a great game where the actual sea chart change depending on whether you believe on the report or not. In order to prove which one was more interesting, I played the game all night with a friend who also remembered the game of the age of exploration.
"Master, there's a ship in the distance nodesu."
Hearing the report from Tama and Pochi through the speaking tube, the Brownie who's steering the ship lowers the control lever of the Aerodynamic Engine.
With that, the sailing altitude of the ship got lowered and the ship landed on the water with a slight impact.
"It's been awhile isn't it~ Going with this ship."
This is an unfortunate ship that hadn't got its turn after the journey from Boruenan Forest to Shiga Kingdom's Trade City.
Since it's installed with an Aerodynamic Engine even though it's of low altitude model, I couldn't lend it to other people.
"I wonder if Hayato and the others are fine?"
"Oh they're fine."
I answered Arisa who seemed worried after glancing at the hero's status shown on the marker column of the map. There's no status abnormality nor extreme physical drop.
We're heading toward Dejima Island in order to meet the hero.
I was slightly worried about him after hearing from Lady Liedill the Temple Knight in Mogeiba City that he might be being used by the crown prince's plot.
We're riding on a sailing ship instead of an airship since this is not an official work of the Tourism Ministry.
We were forbidden from going to the Weasel Empire, but using, "To ensure the safety of the princess and the airship" as a pretext, I got the permission to have a vacation and do a "Hero's Symphaty Call" personally.
The wonderful thing is that Tourism Ministry personnels are still paid monthly on vacations. The fantasy world, or rather, the noble community is quite flexible.
Further, the entourage members of the Tourism Ministry are currently socializing at Pendragon Mansion at the Royal Capital in my place.
Their main purpose is to popularize shared information that are not confidential and unusual things and dishes we got in our visits in the various small kingdoms.
Since we can easily meet them if we go to the solitary island palace, it doesn't really feel like we're apart.
Zena-san stays behind to guard the princess and Sera, but Lady Karina is going with us for the purpose of her re-training.
"It's shaking once we're out on the open sea."
"Can't be helped, it's a small ship after all."
This ship's displacement is only about 100 tons.
It's probably quite small for this world's sea-faring ships.
"How long does it take until we reach Dejima Island?"
"I guess around 3 hours?"
"Ugeh, that's too long~"
Arisa grumbled while looking fed up.
"If you don't like the shaking, you should take shelter in the solitary island palace."
"Un, let me take you up on that offer."
There's no problem since the brownies are steering the ship.
Since all of them are wearing sailor uniforms and sailor hats, it feels like elementary schoolers are leading though.
"Master, is there any tuna around here?"
"Unfortunately, it seems there's none in this sea area. We can take the ship offshore later if you're worried about the tuna stock."
"Yes! Thank you very much!"
When I promise her that, Lulu shows a shining smile that won't lose to the sunshine.
"Master, I found a heap of birds at the port side."
Liza is staring at me with glistening eyes.
She must be waiting for my permission.
"You can go hunt them, but be careful not to be noticed by the ships ahead."
"Yes, I will be flying on the surface of the sea."
Liza runs on the sea surface while holding a spear.
She's carrying a harpoon for throwing since she's going in a hunt.
I saw Liza changed her flight course in the middle of the way and threw the harpoon at the birds.
Looks like she got a lot.
Since I'm planning to have our lunch on Dejima Island today, let's use those birds for dinner.
"Master, the water gate is opening so I inform."
Nana is pointing at a heavy-looking stone gate which protects Dejima Island's bay opening.
According to the map's information, that stone gate appears to be a big golem.
"There are people riding on top of the rays nodesu!"
A herd of flying rays which look like flying fish appeared from the gap of the opened gate, flying on the surface of the sea.
There are silver screws on their heads, the same magic tools that are used to manipulate monsters I've been seeing a lot, sealkin and gillman soldiers are riding on their backs.
Looks like they belong to the administration bureau of Dejima Island.
Five of the rays go around our ship, Tama and Pochi who are sitting on top of the mast as a watch are chasing them with their eyes, going round and round happily.
One of the rays jumped onto the deck, and a strong-looking gillman soldier landed on the deck after rotating stylishly once in the air.
He's somewhat cool despite having the head of a fish.
"I'm Guzze of Dejima Island Harbor Authority. Cannons of ships entering the harbor will have to be stamped. Who's the captain here?"
This ship has no cannon, but since normally a seafaring ship has several magic cannons equipped, telling him that there's zero here will make it suspicious instead.
I extend my [Magic Hand] toward the part of the deck on his blind spot and then put two samples of magic cannon covered with cloth from my Storage.
"I'm the captain. The ship's magic cannons are over there, the two covered in cloth."
I nod at the soldier who looks suspiciously.
"Because more than that is unnecessary--"
I gave a sign at Liza with a hand gesture while saying that.
Liza took the harpoon that was getting dried on the deck and lightly shot Magic Edge Cannon at the horizon beyond.
"We can repulse any monster as long as she's with us."
After seeing Liza's technique, the soldier's mouth and gills were opening and closing greatly, then after awhile he said, "I-It's fine then", stamped the two magic cannons with trembling hands, and left the deck.
--Come to think of it, it was a legendary technique or something.
We follow the soldiers and advance the ship into the bay where a lot of boats are anchored.
Mia muttered while tilting her head.
It's true, I hear sound of a trumpet out of nowhere.
The melody sounds kind of sorrowful, but it's quite good.
It seems a fat ratkin wearing gaudy clothes is playing it on top of the lighthouse at the end of the bay.
"The small boat of the harbor staff has come. We'll enter the harbor in accordance to their flags."
Since the harbor is crowded with big ships, I entrust it to the skillful brownie to steer the ship.
"Have we finally entered the harbor?"
Arisa who heard that we had entered the harbor came back and looked restlessly at the surrounding ships.
"Saga Empire, Holy State Parion, Garleon Alliance, there sure are a lot of ships from various countries."
"Master, does that paddle steamer belong to Weasel Empire?"
Arisa pointed at a black colored big ship and asked.
"That's a Saga Empire's magic boat. The Weasel Empire's ship is that sailing ship with the oars."
"Hee, that's unexpected."
Checking the map, it seems the oars aren't rowed by slaves but small-sized living dolls and medium-sized golems.
"Is that volcano a labyrinth?"
Arisa points at an islet inside the bay.
It's raising white smoke similar to the Sakurajima in peacetime that I saw when I was touring Kyushuu.
It seems there's no lodging facilities on the islet, small boats boarded by people who look like explorers are shuttling between the main Dejima Island and the islet.
Tama and Pochi who are wearing sailor uniforms like the brownies descend on the tramp with shutan poses.
"Are we going to meet Hayato first today?"
"The hero seems to be in the labyrinth still, so first I'll be going to meet the crown prince at last."
Guessing from the rotation of my regular communications with the hero so far, he's probably going to come out of Dejima Labyrinth in two to six days.
I already know from the map that the crown prince is away from Dejima Island, but if I don't at least try to do a courtesy call, they'll deem me as impolite so I can't ignore it.
The president of Norouino Firm who has promised to meet me as Kuro is still at the Imperial Capital even now, so it seems there's still some time left.
Judging from his stamina that keeps depleting, it seems he's running around everywhere to meet my demand instead of slacking off.
Using the mast, a simple crane lowers our carriage, and I've asked Mia and Lulu to pull two horses down the ramp.
The simple crane is operated manually by Nana and Lady Karina's human power.
The current Nana should be able to lower the carriage with her [Magic Arm] but it seemed she wanted to imitate the simple cranes of the surrounding ships so she didn't use force art.
"Master, we've prepared the carriage."
In front of Lulu who's acting as the coach after a long while, the cart-horses, Gii and Darii, snorted.
They seem to be eager to do their long-awaited turns. It might be unexpectedly because of the fodders I made that I gave them before this--Heh, no way.
"Still, it's as lively as the trade city in Shiga Kingdom isn't it."
"Eel~?" <TLN: Utsubo.>
"Now that you've said it, that means grilled eel nanodesu." <TLN: Grilled eel= Tsuboyaki.>
Tama and Pochi said that while staring at the stalls for the port workers.
There's no such stall--Perhaps, they wanted to say "Melting pot of races"? <TLN: Jinshu no Rutsubo.>
"Master, then we will be off."
"Master, wait for good news so I tell."
"I'm counting on you, Liza, Nana."
Liza and Nana who are wearing formal dresses look fresh.
I've asked the two to send a letter asking for a meeting that I wrote to the Dejima Island's administration.
Liza and Nana ride on the carriage that Lulu operates.
Nana is at her own pace, but Liza who rarely rode a carriage looks a bit tense.
"Then, we'll be going."
"Once you're done with it, meet us at the inn with red rooftop in the square in front of the administrator bureau building, we'll be staying there."
I told Lulu about the inn which I had checked beforehand with [Clairvoyance].
I waved my hands at the carriage that had begun to dash.
"Shellfish skewers, delish~?"
"The shellfish muscle is crunchy and tasty nodesu."
"It'd have been tastier if you put soy sauce on it--too bad desuwa."
I've taken the youth troupe and lady Karina along to the wharf for the small boats of the explorers.
I just wanted to collect some information and snack a little but--.
"Is that a crystal gear?"
Stalls selling junks gotten in the labyrinth are lined up here.
There's a lot of things made of crystals which piqued Mia's interest.
Since the stalls are also buying things instead of just selling, heated negotiations between explorers and shopkeepers can be seen here and there.
"Oy oy, 300 swen you said, that's too low for Iatsupista."
"The market is oversupplied since the administration bureau has decreased their spending. I'll buy it for 310 swen."
"Make it 500 swen at least. If that's no good--then I'll sell to Norouino Firm with the other junks."
"Oy oy, don't lump me with the rip-off shop of that weasel guy."
"Aren't ya tanuki guy yourself, yer' not that different."
It seems the tanuki shopkeeper is mad at the human explorer's words, he's threatening him with bared fangs.
On the opposite side, a sealkin doctor and a lizardkin explorer is disputing about magic potions.
"Oy, doc! What the hell is this magic potion!"
"Hahn? Wasn't that the muscle reinforcement medicine I sold ya awhile ago--you heard it, right?"
"Yeah and it's way effective! My offensive power did rise greatly once I drank the magic potion!"
"Ain't that good."
"Yea it is--if only blood didn't gush out of my arms and stopped me from even holding a sword after the battle was over that is! We ran away from the labyrinth with our life on the line!"
The sealkin doctor smoothly evades the explorer who tried to grab his collar.
His gleaming body looks elastic like it's been plastered with oil.
"I did wrote the instruction right? 『It may affect the users after battle, please be advised』, there."
"Kuh, like I can read!"
A brawny tigerkin soldier who happens to pass by seems to be trying to mediate the explorer who's still trying to catch the doctor.
The merchants here somehow feel like the diminutive version of the weasel merchants I happened to see in Shiga Kingdom.
"Hey~, do you have any interesting tool?"
"Hahn? You're wearing some good clothes--You a daughter of noble?"
"Yes, that's right."
When Arisa combed her hair upward in front of a gnome's stall, the other girls imitated her and took the pose of 'combing hair upward'.
The stall keeper's eyes were deprived not by the children but by the movement of the breast of Lady Karina who took the pose too.
It's not of amorous nature, his face somehow looks like he's seen some unpleasant things.
Looks like they don't match the aesthetic sense of gnomes who have round barrel-like figures.
"Master! Look at this, look at this!"
Arisa pulled me to a stall with music boxes and spring-powered toys.
The shopkeeper said that they're magic tools, but they're all extremely common tools.
And, the thing that Arisa found was not those.
"Yes! And it's even Yamato-kun from 『Tennis X Hero』!"
I heard that name before--right, it's the protagonist of the shounen manga that Hikaru likes.
"Can I ask you where you got this?"
"'Course it's from the 『Phantasmal Labyrinth』. Bought it from my regular customer, an adventurer. Think he said that he found it in a gray illusory town inside the labryinth."
I thought it was something sold by a teleported person of the past to raise money, that doesn't seem to be the case.
"Master, perhaps there's a place that connects that volcanic island and former world--er, somewhere in Japan."
Arisa told me while grasping her fist.
However, if such a convenient thing does exist, the hero should have said something during our regular communication.
I was going to say that to Arisa, but I lost to the homesickness in Arisa's eyes and didn't put it into words.
Instead, I speak these words.
"It's probably going to be awhile before the hero come out of the labyrinth, do you want to enter the labyrinth for a bit?"
"Winning the case nanodesu!"
Following after Arisa who was pleasantly surprised, the children jumped happily, while Lady Karina who missed her chance was shifting her gaze between me and the children restlessly.
I grip a Weasel Empire's gold coin into the shopkeeper's hand, and ask about the information about the labyrinth explorer--they're called adventurers in weasel empire--who sold him the figurine.
The shopkeeper was hesitating at first, but once I asked the price of his goods, the figurines and music boxes, and bought them, he let it all out like an oiled cog.
The adventurer in question can't be found with the map search. He's probably currently exploring in another map, the [Phantasmal Labyrinth].
Some unfamiliar voices called out to me while I was writing the information I got into the Exchange Column's memo pad.
"And there's Honey-chan too."
I turn around and see people who shouldn't have been in this place.