Chapter 31 White Snake Woman and High Speed Rivering
We're riding a ship going downstream a large river toward Drias the port town.
It's a large river that's 100 meter in width. It's deep too.
The blue water is flowing abundantly.
The four of us are playing a card game after having our lunch.
Celica is going steady while laughing elegantly, Minya is concentrating on the game with a serious deadpan expression. But if she had a good hand, her skirt turned up from her tail moving and when she got a bad hand, her ears flopped down, she was like an open book.
This peaceful rivering is probably going to continue on.
--Right when I thought that.
The boatman suddenly shouts.
"Hold on to something! You'd get thrown off!"
"What!?" "What's happening!" "I don't see anything--!?"
The passengers raised their voices.
The next moment, BAM, shock ran on the bottom of the ship.
The vibrations feel like the whole ship is rising.
The passengers screamed, "HYAAA!", "UWAAA!"
Minya agilely stood up like a cat, but Lapisia fell down and went rolling on board the ship.
"Celica, take care of Lapisia so she won't fall!"
Celica hugs the rolling Lapisia on her lap.
After making sure of that, I ran to the boatman.
"What's going on!"
"Hero-san, we got a monster!"
I look around with Senrigan.
Then I saw a 15 meter long fish as huge as a whale swimming in the water. Abominable sharp teeth are lined up in its mouth big enough to swallow a house whole.
"That's one big fish."
"We're gonna try to run to the riverbank! Hold on the ship somewhere!"
"Nah, no need for that."
"Don't worry. As a hero, I'll cut it down."
"C-can you do that?"
"We're probably going to be a fish bait before we get to the bank if I can't do that right?"
The boatman opened his eyes wide, but then he nodded firmly.
"Gotcha. Gonna believe in you!"
"Move to some place easier to fight on."
The boatman moved the ship's rudder to the middle of the large river.
Riding on a fast stream, accelerating.
The huge fish is chasing after our ship.
Its thorny dorsal fin cuts through the water surface.
Swallow: Swallow the enemy whole.
Crunch: Crush one enemy ignoring defense.
Surface Slash: Cut even steel with the dorsal fin.
Pressure Down: Jump up and flatten with its body. Ranged attack.
Null Water Elemental Attack: Scales that repel direct attacks of water elemental. Complete protection.
It's opening its mouth, trying to swallow the ship whole. Its body is glittering from the sunlight.
--Water element having no effect on it is troublesome.... Is that what you think, foolish fish.
Water and wind are my followers!
I unsheathe my Tachi and fire a magic while taking the upper stance with the Tachi.
"--<<Sealing Water Jail>>!"
The water emits blue light, taking crystal shape. I'm using this one since it's not a direct attack.
The fish got caged, it violently floundered left and right.
Of course it won't break from just that.
"Breeze who abide by name Become an assemble of sharp blades--<<Gale Slash>>."
I swing my Tachi.
Releasing a sharp blade of wind.
The top half of the fish's head is blown off.
Its brain tissue scattered, it died after convulsing.
SPLASH, the fish fell into the river with a grand water splash.
Shout of joy broke off on the ship.
"Awesome!", "With just one blow!", "Hero-sama is amazing!"
Etc etc. They unanimously praised.
There's nothing in it being praised by merchants.
"You're amazing as expected. But it was unfortunate. Greedriver's teeth and scales can all be sold handsomely. Its meat is also delicious. You could get around 30 big gold coin with one that size. Truly unfortunate."
It was a highly prized fish at the same level of tuna huh.
I never thought of selling the materials from the monsters I defeated.
I've got to earn money after all, losing 30 big gold coins (3 million yen) is a blow.
That said, it's already in the bottom of the river.
I should prepare a fishing rod next time.
While I was thinking that.
The boatman suddenly shouted.
"There's another one!"
"What!", "What'd you say!?"
I look at the place the boatman pointed at.
A huge Greedriver fish is chasing after a white snake.
The white snake's long body is undulating while trying to desperately escape.
"The fish is eating the monster", "Nice, run run away~!"
The passengers laughed.
However, my attention was caught by another thing.
It's big for a snake. Its total length is about 5 meter.
The white upper body--of a woman?
I stare at it hard. Cause I don't think it's just a mere snake.
Race: 【Divine Kind】 Naga
Class: Conjurer Lv65
Magic Attack: 1800
Magic Defense: 1200
Water Spear: Strong water attack on one enemy.
Spear Needles: High pressure water needles attack on multiple enemies.
Aqua Fall: Change water into a high pressure axe, cutting like a waterfall. Ranged big damage.
--Hou. She has divinity huh.
She looks like a monster outwardly, but apparently she's a divine beast.
Why isn't she fighting back even though she's that strong?
I thought that for an instant, but then it hit me that water attack had no effect on the huge fish.
It doesn't seem like she's carrying a weapon either, she probably has no choice but to flee.
I put my hand on the ship's rail and shout.
"Oy, you the Naga there. Come here. I'm gonna help you~"
Hearing my shout, the snake woman hesitated for a while but then she made a sudden turn heading here.
The snake woman comes to the side of the ship. The huge fish pursues right behind her.
I hold my Tachi and recite a spell.
I swing my Tachi from the side, slashing horizontally!
The whale-like huge fish got cut in two.
SPLASH! The fish sunk with that sound.
And then the snake woman Ieturia swam to the ship with her undulated white snake body.
The inboard is going up in screams.
However, I tell them.
"Don't worry. She's a divine messenger. That's why, do not attack her you hear me?"
"Hii", "Why...no I got it", "Let's do as Hero-sama says."
I put my hands on the ship's rail again when the passengers quieted down.
Ieturia came right beside me. Water is dripping from her long silver hair that stretches to her back.
She's a beautiful woman with alabaster-like white skin and bowl-shaped breasts slanting upward. However, her lower body is that of a long snake covered in white scales. The snake part is about 4 meter long.
Her beautiful face is warped, looking at me with dubious eyes.
"....Why did you save me?"
"Hmm. I thought you were a divine beast, not a monster. Am I mistaken?"
Ieturia's red eyes opened wide.
"How'd you know that.... That's right, I am of people who have divinity. You really saved me there. My gratitude."
"Then could you bring me the fish I defeated here? Looks like it can be sold at a high price."
"...I can't really accept it, but it's a request from my lifesaver and one of higher rank. I will undertake it."
After she said that, the long snake body wriggled and she dived underwater.
She said higher rank just now. She saw through me as a god huh.
After a while, Ieturia brought back two huge fish.
They're fastened to the sides of the ship since they can't be carried on board.
And then Minya came to my side with kitchen knives on both hands. She snorted and stood with her legs open wide.
"I'll... dismantle them."
"Can you do it?"
Even though she had her usual deadpan, strong will shined in her black eyes.
Like saying it's her expertise.
I decided to entrust it to her.
"...Is that so, thanks then. As one would expect of a daughter of a chef. I'll be counting on you."
Minya's black eyes brightened in delight.
"Do my best."
And then she begins to dismantle the fish that's bigger than the ship.
She got on the back of the huge fish with a jump, and swung the kitchen knives.
She cut the gills and drained the blood, cutting off the vivid meat from between the scales.
There was no waste movement, it was beautiful enough to be a martial art dance.
I talk to the merchant.
"Are you going to buy the meat and the material?"
"Yes, allow me to purchase the material. However, since the meat can't hold on for long, it might rot."
"Is that so. That's too bad."
After I said that, Minya turns around to us and speaks.
"...If dried in the sun, kept."
"I see. Dried and salted fish is it. Please do."
"Then, Hero-sama. How about 18 big gold coins for the two fish's material and 3 big gold coins for the meat?"
"I don't know the market price. Is that fair?"
I couldn't use <<Truth Sight>> since they haven't been finished being dismantled into individual items. Appraising each of them gave me results from 1-100 coins, the gap was too big, I couldn't get the difference.
Minya mutters in a whisper while skilfully dismantling the fish.
"This is a female. She had eggs. Unless it's 40 large gold coins... no."
"W-what! Greedriver's ovary!? I'll buy it, I'll buy it at that price!"
The merchant shouted excitedly.
However, the other merchants stand up in a frenzy.
"W-wait. It's the ovary y'know! I'll buy them all for 45 pieces!"
I don't really understand but an auction has started.
The female fish's eggs seem to be very highly prized. I guess it's like herring roe and caviar.
The other boatmen and the wealthy joined as the auction reached the climax.
I left it to Minya and left the place.
I approach Ieturia who's swimming on the ship's flank with her hand on the ship's side.
However, one of the passengers draws near with a stiff face.
"Hero-sama, is it fine to get close to that monster?"
I look at Ieturia. Her silver hair and white body are glittering under the sunlight. Her liberally bowl-shaped breasts are exposed.
"What. Are you hostile to humans?"
She shook her head while still holding her hand on the ship. The wet dripping silver hair swayed heavily.
"I don't remember ever being hostile. However, humans mistook us as monsters and assaulted us."
"I see. Well you do look like a monster."
Ieturia looked down as I said that nochalantly.
"--We're attacked by monsters, chased after by humans. Where do we have to live at...."
Shadow was casted on Ieturia sculpture-like beautiful face.
--This might be a good opportunity.
Helping her means that my name will be known and I get more believers.
In an instant, I establish a plan to help her.
I speak with folded arms.
"Looking at the situation now, there's no way you guys have home is there?"
"Wha--! Everything is because you gods are fools--"
"Waa! Listen to the end! If you don't have a place you belong to, then you just need to create one! --Rather, I'm a hero! The name's Keika. Call me that!"
And then I reminded her, "Do not say god" in whisper.
Many things would be finished if my identity as a god got exposed.
I alluded it frantically.
Ieturia seemed to understand as she obediently nodded.
"I got it, Keika.... But what do you mean by creating a place we belong to?"
"It's simple. If you want to get along with humans, you just need to show your worth to them."
Ieturia tilted her head quizzically. The silver hair inclined.
"...Hmm? I don't understand what you're meaning to say at all...."
"Humans are a calculative creature. If they are aware that something or someone has a value to them, they will take care of it regardless of its looks. Like the honeybees from where honey is collected, they look scarier than you right? They have compound eyes and all."
"I-indeed.... But what should I do? For me to be useful to humans...."
"Is your swimming fast?"
"I do not lose to human ships."
"Is that right.... Wait a bit."
I go to the boatman.
"I need to talk about something."
"What's it Hero-sama. Say it, I'll help s'long it's within my power."
"Is this ship yours? Or is it of a merchant somewhere?"
"Driad-san who's participating in the auction over there is the shipowner. He owns the Driad Firm that deals in transportation and trade."
"I see. Then would you tie a rope on the ship's bow?"
"Where'd that come from!?"
"Just do it, I'm asking here."
I said that while showing a glimpse of the 【Emblem of Hero】 on my chest, and the boatman followed while frowning.
A rope is tied on the bow.
I present the other end of that rope to Ieturia.
"Pull the ship with this."
"Haa!? You mean I have to pull a human ship! Are you mocking me!"
"But you want a place you can belong to right? Your specialty is the ability to move quick on water."
"It might seem like you're being used. However, that's only in the beginning. Leave it to me. I'll raise your worth and create a place you can belong to."
"Are you telling the truth? ....No, I have nowhere to go anyway. I'll do it even if it's a lie."
Ieturia took the rope from my hand with her slender arm.
Her cold fingers touched for an instant.
And then she turned forward and pulled the ship.
BWOOSH, the river ship sailed at high speed.
"Fast!", "Oh noo!", "Uu...gonna puke."
The passenger's screams were within my expectation as the ship went down the big river intensely.