Wizard! Chapter 510
The HMS Nightcat’s slim prow cut through the waters of the eastern ocean. A handful of gevai sailors manned the ship, tending the sails as necessary. The ship could also run on a combustion engine, but the smoke created would give away their position, and that could lead to some awkwardness. Everything on the ship- the sails, the smokestack, railings, hull, and the sailor’s uniforms were made of a special materials that changed shades to match the ambient light. During the day, the ship was light blue over dark blue, but at night it was nearly black throughout. It didn’t provide true invisibility- but it also didn’t give off any mana fluctuations.
Sailing into Eclean waters was risky business. Even though the current waters were outside of any publicly claimed areas, the Ecleans controlled the area. That was exactly why the Nightcat was where it was. Large numbers of Eclean ships passed through the area- ships that had no method to avoid deep sea creatures, yet set out and returned regularly.
Spies in Eclea had made known the existence of magical buoys. They weren’t willing to risk stealing the blueprints for Cruonia, but merely acknowledging their existence was good enough. The king wanted those buoys. In fact, everyone wanted them- except perhaps the landlocked Ostana. Whether they knew they wanted them was a different question, but navigating the oceans was troublesome.
The Nightcat had to rely on her own systems for dissuading attacks by deep sea monsters. Perhaps on the right path they would be safe without, but they didn’t know the right path. That was why they were carefully patrolling the area to try to catch sight of one of the Eclean ships. It would be easier to find one of the ships near the coast- but it was also easier to get caught there.
Theo wrung his hands as he stood nervously belowdecks. He wasn’t much use on a ship unless something broke. While he was glad to avoid seasickness, the journey made him nervous. Sure, in a spaceship finding oneself outside resulted in nearly certain death- but at least you could see everything around you. Mostly, it was nothing. Seafaring ships, however, could only see half of everything, at most. Not even the important half, either. The half with things lurking in the deep.
It wasn’t even an irrational fear of such monsters either. There really were many things to fear, and attacks happened frequently even on ships with preventative measures. Sure, maybe one trip in ten… but that was a pretty high risk of danger.
This trip reminded Theo that he could die. That had happened once before, but it hadn’t been a violent death. More importantly, he hadn’t left much behind. This time, however, there was Sarah. While he hadn’t asked her to marry him, he was going to. Perhaps he already should have. Theo shook his head. He definitely already should have. After the trip, he was going to.
Sure, if he died he would be reincarnated. That was apparently part of the world… but keeping his memories wasn’t a guarantee. It had happened once, but even the king, who’d undergone the process multiple times, wasn’t sure of the exact conditions. Maybe Theo would forget, and then even if he met Sarah again the wouldn’t know each other.
Plus, dying was a waste when you had a theoretically unlimited lifespan ahead of you. Theo was still having trouble with that idea, but the fact that he wasn’t old yet was hard to deny. Theoretically it was possible to prevent aging in humans, but even in his future they hadn’t achieve it entirely- even if they had extended lifespans significantly.
Theo was glad there weren’t any portholes to look out through. He didn’t want to see the darkness. He hoped they found something soon…
After a week, they still hadn’t come across a ship… but Theo found himself called up onto the deck. “Sir wizard… We have spotted something that might be one of the buoys we’re looking for.” The captain of the ship gestured into the distance and handed him a spyglass. “Near straight off the bow.”
Theo wondered how they had managed to spot one in all the open ocean… until he looked with the spyglass. The buoy stood out like a sore thumb, bouncing up and down on the waves. “It’s certainly some kind of buoy. Probably what we’re looking for, unless someone was quite bored.”
“Aye, we thought so. There’s another one about a mile back. We decided not to approach without getting your advice, seeing as they radiate mana.”
Another one? Theo turned around to find those words were true. They weren’t even hidden… but that made all sorts of sense. If they were to guide ships, hiding them would result in more trouble than it might be worth. “We can move a bit closer, at least.”
Theo’s job on the journey was as a magical consultant- which actually made him the most important part. He was to observe the buoys and do his best to replicate them. It was a sort of crazy idea. Replicating technology really did best when possessing it… but William had said they shouldn’t take one. Theo had to agree from the political side of things, if not the engineering side. Eclea could be suspicious if they developed similar technology, but if they actually stole a buoy there could be a war. Maybe there wouldn’t be, it was hard to tell what Eclea would do. Were they waiting for an excuse, or were they purely interested in isolation? Theo wished they would just talk with people. They had so much interesting technology.
Without the mana flowing around it, the buoy didn’t look that impressive. It was mostly just a ball designed to float on the waves. Of course, the magic was the most important part. Theo took all of the observations he could from the deck of the ship… but it wasn’t enough. He looked down into the deep, dark waters and sighed. He hoped the buoys kept anything nasty well away. Then, after a pair of spear wielding sailors checked the area, he jumped into the water with them.