C231: Cruise Journal

I am Capt. Racha Leones, a demon sailor and explorer in search of the sea’s mysteries.

The sea has many dangerous and breathtaking romances—an ancient island where refugee demons have settled and built their own civilization, several paradise islands managed by the mermaids, the rumored Dragon King Geyser Dragon that dwells in the Dragon Emperor’s Fortress at the far end of the sea, and many more.
The whereabouts and existence of these places remain unknown and unconfirmed.
Finding these mysterious islands and taking the first step is what ocean exploration is all about.

People on land say that the war is over and the whole world is united, but such words are the jests of those who know little.
We have yet to see a huge portion of the world.

Uncovering each of them is the life of a seafarer.
For as long as I live, I will wade my way through this pathless ocean.

O’ San Imelda, my love, embrace the wind with your bewitching sails!


But during my voyage, San Imelda’s sails no longer embraced the wind.

It’s calm at sea, the most frightening thing for us sailors—no wind, no waves. Just a still and silent sea.
A sailing boat can’t move anywhere without wind, so once it’s caught in a lull, all we can do is wait for the weather’s whims.
Those who can ride a magic-powered ship that can sail freely without wind are the select elite members of the Demon King’s army.

When will the wind blow?
It might blow in a while, or it might not until tomorrow.
It might blow in three days, ten days, a month, or six months.

It may not blow at all, even if we’re on board and already famished.

The more we are caught in the lull, the more we realize how insignificant beings we are, only kept alive by the whims of nature.

Thirteen days have already passed since the ship stopped moving.
The standstill far exceeded our expectations, and we were beginning to run out of supplies.

Even if by some miracle the wind had picked up and we had been able to reach the nearest port, we would have barely enough left.
I told my crew that we would cut down from two meals a day to one and prepare for the worst, but that would not help if the wind did not blow.

Despair hangs in the air around the deck.
I wonder if we’re going to die of hunger and thirst.

From the moment we decided to become sailors, we knew we would not die quietly on land.
But I never thought that dying at sea would be so quiet and somber.

It’s a somewhat anti-climactic end for a marine adventurer.
If I’m going to die here, can’t it be at least through a strike of lightning?
Then my fellow survivors can spread the word about my glorious last moments.

“Captain… Captain!”

As I was lost in my trifling fantasies, a sailor called out to me.
I was so hungry that I almost lost consciousness. That was close.

“…What? Did you find a phantom ship that will take us to the underworld?”
“I’m not sure if it’s a phantom ship or not, but our lookout spotted it. It’s coming straight toward us.”

I meant it as a joke, but the unexpected report cleared the haze from my consciousness.

“What nonsense are you talking about? A ship is heading toward us?”

Have you forgotten what kind of crisis we’re in?
What kind of ship rides the waves without any wind?

“That’s why the other crew members are flustered. It might actually be a phantom ship!”

I couldn’t help but click my tongue at the sailor’s foolish joke.
Oh, well. I’ll just have to see for myself.

I walk out of my cabin and make my way to the deck.

“Where is it?”
“To the right, Captain.”

The sailor leads me to the edge of the deck, and sure enough, there’s something that looks like a ship sailing across the water.
There are no sails on it and is clearly coming toward us.

“…There’s no wind, right?”

I can’t help but ask the people around me even though I know the answer is obvious.
How is that sailless ship moving?!

“If it can move without wind, it doesn’t need a sail!”
“Perhaps it’s one of those rumored magic-powered ships in the Demon King’s Army. If so, it makes sense that it can move without wind…”
“No…”

I’ve seen magic-powered ships before, but their design is clearly different from the one in the distance.

The mysterious ship floating in the ocean before me is sparkling.
…The closer it approached us, the more defined its features became.

What is that?!
Its hull is shining like metal!

“No… It doesn’t look like metal, it is metal! It’s a metal ship!”
“Metal, how? Doesn’t it usually sink in water and rust in the salt wind?!”
“I guess it really is a phantom ship!!!”

The crew is in chaos.
The famine has gotten to their brains, but the fact that they’re making such a fuss indicates that the shock is that great.

“W-What should we do, Captain?!”
“Nothing! We can’t move, so if they want to come, we can only greet them. Make sure our crew is fully armed just in case!”

Before long, the mysterious ship came alongside our San Imelda.
A plank was laid across to create a makeshift bridge between our ships.
And what crossed over it was…

“An orc?!”
“Ahhhhhhhhh! Why are there monsters on the ship?!”

A ship full of monsters?
What is up with this ship? It’s just one mystery after another!

The only thing I can say for sure is that this orc is different from the norm.
I could tell from a glance that if this guy went on a rampage, our ship would sink.

I didn’t want to die a simple death, but I wasn’t expecting something this bizarre either.
This is a fitting end for a marine adventurer!

“U-Um…”
“?!”

I was already preparing myself for all sorts of things, but then, the orc spoke to me.
What now?!

“You seem to be in some trouble, so we’ve come on board without permission. Are you all right? Are you in distress? You all look pale from the looks of it, are you perhaps hungry?”

The orc asked about our welfare and I told him about our predicament.

“I see… My Lord! It seems that they are indeed in distress! They said they’re running out of food!”

The orc shouts as he turns back to their ship, and on the other side of the railing, I see a lanky… human?
…I think? He looks different.

“Okay! We’re not sparing any expense! Also, ask if any of them are sick!”
“Understood!”

The monster is listening to what the human is saying?!
The human race in question raises his voice even more toward us.

“Ah! You must be the captain! Sorry I’m talking to you from so far away! I’m the captain of this ship! We’ll be bringing in some of our supplies, so I’ll greet you once again then!”
“O-Okay…”
“Are any of you suffering from scurvy?! I know how it feels! We’ve got lots of orange juice on board, so don’t worry!”

W-What the hell is going on?!
All I can say for sure is that this strange encounter has given us a new tomorrow when we should have been dead.


“…And there you have it.”

Five days have passed since then.
We made it to the nearest port, guzzled down a few drinks at a bar, and reflected upon our recent experience.
We had made it back alive without losing a single sailor.
What a miracle!

“We were trapped in the calm, but the mysterious ship towed us to a route where the trade winds were blowing. We were ready to die until they came. I even thought I’d never see your filthy face again!”
“Oh, quit your babbling and tell me a better lie.”
“Say what?!”

I’m sharing drinks with a fellow explorer I met by chance in the port town, yet he calls me a liar the moment I told him about my peculiar experience!

“Of course, it’s a lie! A ship with no sails sailing on its own? Exterior made of metal? There’s no such ship in the world! If it’s metal, it’ll sink! It would rust in the sea breeze!!!”
“I know, I know… But I saw it with my own eyes, how are you going to deny that?!”

You have got to believe it really happened.
Hundreds of epic romances exist in the vast ocean.
That ship is one of those, no doubt about it.

But my seafaring friend doesn’t seem to believe what I said.

“Your silly talk aside, there’s been some interesting gossip going around lately, do you want to hear all about it?”
“What?”
“It seems that somewhere in this world, there is an earthly paradise that has all the treasures you could ever imagine… It’s called the Saint’s Farm.”

The Saint’s Farm?

“Rumors have spread even among the human adventurers. They say that if you go there, you will find all the tools, weapons, treasures, and delicacies. This is where I want to make a request.”
“Let me guess, to find this ‘Saint’s Farm’?”
“Bingo. There are already many adventurers looking for it on land, but not many approaches it from the sea. If we play our cards right, we might outwit them, eh?”

My fellow explorer expressed his greedy, speculative spirit, but it didn’t make my heart race.

“Pass.”

I have more important things to pursue now.

“I’m going to find that mysterious ship again!”

We eventually parted ways with that ship as we returned to the regular route.
It was careless of me to forget to ask for their name and background.
It was a huge mistake, notwithstanding the fact that I was confused by the whole situation, and my mind wasn’t in the best condition.

So, I don’t know where that ship was built, what kind of ship it was, who was the human commanding it, or where I can go to see him again.

“I’d rather look for that mysterious ship than some farm! After all, I’ve seen it myself!”
“Are you sure you weren’t just hallucinating from extreme hunger?”
“Bullshit. There’s no way that amazing ship is also at the Saint’s Farm. I’m going to see that ship again and unravel its mysteries!!!”

The romance that makes the hearts of ocean explorers race.
That mysterious ship must be the most romantic of all.

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