Chapter 7 - A fathers decision

They had been sailing for a few hours now. He was standing on the helm besides Trelios.

"How long till we reach our destination, Trelios?"

"I'd say one and a half hours. We were able to make great progress after we were out of sight of the city and could activate the circle engines."

"Good."

He looked down on the deck, seeing how his surprise passengers were doing.

Fortunately, the leg was functioning like a prosthetic limb as he had hoped, it would have been quite embarrassing if it hadn't worked.

The man was slowly getting used to having his leg returned to him. He should be ready to work at the end of the day.

Neia was just standing at the railing looking down into the ocean. He couldn't blame her, after all, he was in love with the ocean himself.

Well, why not talk to her about it. He should make sure she wasn't just having a panic attack, she hadn't moved from that spot for the last hour.

He walked down the stairs from the helm and approached the girl. Now from the side, he could see the look on her face, slightly open mouth with wide-open eyes.

That was a look he recognized from old pictures of himself. He couldn't help the smile that crept onto his face.

"Beautiful isn't it."

The girl slightly jumped at his voice.

"Y-Yeah."

"Is it you're first time seeing the open sea and just be able to take it in?"

She shyly nodded.

He couldn't blame her for receding back into a shell, not after what she had been told about his crew.

"You know, once we stop I can show you something else. We have several hatches at the bottom of the boat. The view out of them is much better."

He could see her eyes widen by just the smallest margin, but it was enough for him to notice. The girl was fascinated by the ocean, just like he was. Well maybe a bit less, now that he was a creature that was birthed from the ocean's will.

He felt the |Message Stone| in his pocket heat up.

"Well, if you want to see. Just tell me when we anchor."

He waited until the girl frantically nodded, making him chuckle at her enthusiasm before he made his way back into his cabin.

He took out the stone and activated it to establish the connection.

"{Hello Princess, I apologize, there was something I had to finish.}"

"{Hello, Captain Grayhate. I just wanted to make sure these stones worked and thank you for accompanying me again once I leave.}"

"{Not a problem.}"

"{Then I will contact you once the negotiations are finished. I am sorry to have disturbed you during your work.}"

"{It's fine.}"

"{I wish you a pleasant rest of the day.}"

"{You as well princess.}"

He took out the naval assessment Vera had done for the Holy Kingdom.

A majority of the ships they had seen in the harbor had been reminiscent of the European Cogs. Ships that were mostly used for trading and general transport, but they could be equipped with weaponry and used in an assault. Almost all the ones currently in the harbor had at least two cannons on board, most likely a precaution due to the pirate activity.

The warships resembled something akin to Portuguese Carracks. Except the cargo holds had been mostly replaced by another deck of canons. Altogether there were 7 warships in the harbor and 2 in close proximity out on the sea. Either the Holy Kingdom never had a big fleet, or the pirates had been a much bigger threat than he had thought.

He could appreciate the European styled ships, but 'The Survivor' was on a wholly different scale. It had been modeled after the Chinese Baochuans, the Treasure Ships in the fleet of admiral Zheng He. Those ships alone had already been considered the true Leviathans of the medieval era.

But he didn't want to just rebuild an already existing ship, so he made modifications. As a baseline, he had taken a model created by a man named Wei Wenxi. Adding the bowsprit and Kraken figurehead, he mostly kept the Chinese styled sails for aesthetics with only minor cosmetic adjustments but did away with a lot of the Chinese decorations. The anchors were placed on the sides of the bow, now that the front was no longer able to hold them.

He added two decks to have less of the shallow Junk build that was typical for medieval Chinese ships, making it look more European while still retaining a distinctly Chinese feel.

And of course, he made it about 25% bigger. Technically speaking his ship should not have been able to stay afloat, but he had designed it in a game so there hadn't been any problems. But now that they were actually sailing it through an ocean, how was 'The Survivor' not sinking?

She was way too heavy with her own weight alone, not counting crew and cargo. With the width of the deck, it should fall to the side instead of staying upright. And he was pretty sure that the wood he had settled for was not meant to be used for ships since it was way too dense. But he had liked the very dark green almost black color of it.

'The Survivor' should have sunk the moment it was put on water, not even taking into account the massive storm they had been caught in. The only feasible reason he could think up was that it had to do with the fact that it came from Ygdrasil. A game making the laws of physics more of a set of guidelines than immutable facts. Combine that with the massive amounts of magic flowing through the ship, not only with the circle engines but also it's magic inherent to every Guild Base, magic defenses that every base had, and its link to the |World Atlas|, it had enough magic coursing through it to blow up a country with sheer pressure alone, even without a spell channeling it into an explosion.

A knock at the door brought him out of his thoughts, why was he questioning this anyways?

"Aye."

He looked at the door hoping Kreg had some news concerning the equipment they had salvaged. Now that he thought about it they'd have no safe way to melt down the 'cannonballs'.

Before he could continue the thought the door opened and in came Pavel Baraja.

"Do you have a moment Captain Grayhate?"

"Sure what do you need?"

He motioned for the man to take a seat.

"I wanted to ask a favor."

"I'm listening."

"I want you to look after Neia when I return to Roble."

What? He was taking a bottle of rum from his desk when he stopped. He had expected to be asked if he could keep the leg, or that he could take over his daughter's workload. Or honestly just about anything else.

He slowly put the bottle back in the drawer, before studying the man before him. From what he could tell the man was dead serious.

"Why?"

"I'll probably be executed when returning."

"Just for being with me?"

"No, me being on your ship was just the drop that broke the damn, or so I think."

"Elaborate if you don't mind."

The man let out a heavy sigh before answering.

"I am the son of a farmer, so the nobles always had something against me, not wanting me to have such a high position. They have always tried to find a reason to punish me. About a year before the wall was breached I lost most of my favor with the queen. Now with my leg gone, I have no more use and a pissed of Captain of the Paladins and the nobles after my head. They'll gladly use this as an excuse to execute me."

"How'd you lose your favor with her? From what I've been told you're a major military asset as a leader as well as your skills."

"I called the queen a shortsighted woman who doesn't focus on the real threats to the kingdom."

Wow, he really has some balls. "And do tell why is she shortsighted."

"I was practically living on the wall, being almost constantly stationed there. About a year ago I noticed the attacks dying down. Now that would normally be a good thing, but the attackers were almost exclusively sick and old Demis, and not a single woman. That made me suspicious."

"I can see why that makes someone think."

"My theory was that they were keeping us busy while increasing their numbers. I told the Queen again and again. And then a month ago I was proven right."

The man's hand started shaking and he was gripping the point where his leg had been cut off.

"It was like a flood at the beach. Demis as far as I could see, and I can see pretty damn far. The whole wall shock when they ran against it, and it didn't even take five minutes for one of the gates to be breached. I barely made it out alive to report it to her majesty. And do you know what Remedios said when I told them?"

"Something highly insulting and insensitive?"

That bitch called me a deserter. Saying it were only Demihumans, they can't pose a threat. If I had stayed everything would have been fine. If I hadn't been close to passing out from blood loss and exhaustion I would have strangled her. I stood there with my leg mangled beyond repair and that's what she said. It was probably good that I passed out then and there before I could attack her."

He let the man finish his rant before speaking up, and from what he had heard that was something he desperately needed.

Opening up his drawer again he handed the bottle to the man who thanked him and took a big swig.

"Sorry about that."

"It's okay. I knew she was a conceited, insensitive moron from my one meeting with her, but this is another level. But still why me? Neither I nor most of my crew are human. Why would you trust us with your daughter?"

"You really want to know?"

He nodded.

"Because she is happy. The only other times she has really been happy was when I took her hunting or taught her archery. And now she is happy again being here with you. But to be honest, because you and your crew already treat her nicer and more like family than my wife does."


Hey.

Yes, I know a very short chapter compared to the others. But I wanted to keep this and the next thing to happen separately. The next chapter consisting of them returning to Roble after a few days and seeing if Pavel was right or not.

I am also thinking of rewriting this story or at the very least the beginning because there are some inconsistencies and missed opportunities. Also, some loose ends that I forgot about because I took a break from writing, the major one being him mentioning he was from another world and then it never comes up again.

Also, that Model from Wei Wenxi is an actual thing that I found that is pretty close to what I imagined, just with the described alterations.

Once again sorry for the short chapter, I hope it was still enjoyable.

-Zimzimgar