1

Vol 5: Chapter 41

** 10km off the shores of Saint Knight Kingdom **

The sea was quiet at night. The water surface was so calm that it even reflected the starlight.

『…………』

However, in the dark sea, even deeper darkness emerged to the surface. It was big enough to swallow an entire village, but it stayed still near the surface of the sea, and then slowly sank.

** Saint Knight Kingdom Port Town, Zackerhafen **

「I found it, young miss, head. There are four magic ships in Zackerhafen.」

The cold light of a magic lamp illuminated the room. Four men sat around a small table. Lark was sitting on a bed and listening to them.

These people have been following the “Boss” Kook since their bandit days. They conducted small-scale raids with the policy of “Attack people but do not hurt them. Take their money but not too much”. As such, they have been able to avoid the town guards and lived by barely getting by.

Their roles have not changed since those days.

「Hou. All 4 huh?」

「Naturally.」

A slender man threw out his chest in pride. He had no name and was simply called the “scout”. And that was enough for him, as was for his companion called the “engineer”.

The scout pointed to a simple map of the port town on the table.

「This port is roughly divided into fishing boats and transport boats. But this one corner is a mooring that is only used by the rich of this town.」

「Hmm? Are there military ships, too?」

「Military ships are in the neighbouring port. You can’t station military ships in the same place as the common people.」

「Right. So, the magic ships are at the rich people’s mooring?」

「Yes, but it has a dry dock installed, so we can’t just sail away.」

「Haa… They carefully store it on land? The rich truly have a tendency to lock away everything they own, don’t they?」

The scout grinned in response to the boss.

「That’s our chance. It’ll be the locksmith’s turn at this point.」

The scout placed his hand on the head of a petite man sitting next to him.

Unkempt hair hung down to his eyes, and his plump body was reminiscent of a dwarf, but he was simply a short human.

「M-M-Me?」

「We just have to break into the dock and sail away with the ship. So we need you to get us into the dock. You can open it with your locksmith skills, right?」

「Will it really go so well…?」the engineer asked, with a doubtful gaze.

「It will. If the ship was floating in the sea, people would be keeping an eye on it, but if it’s stowed in the dock, we don’t have to worry about people. In my opinion, I think your job to get the magic ship started will take the most time.」the scout said to the engineer.

「I see. You’re quite clever for a scout.」the boss said.

「…Don’t praise me too much, boss.」

「We just got to get the magic ship’s engine running, plop the ship into the sea, and say goodbye to this town.」the boss said.

「Will it really go so well?」

The engineer turned a doubtful gaze at the boss this time.

「Well, that’s the plan. What do you say, young miss?」

The boss turned to Lark. She opened her mouth as if she suddenly noticed that someone called out to her.

「…Hmm? If you guys can do it, then that’s fine.」

「Young miss… Are you really going to follow us? You would just get in our way, so stay here.」

「Get off my back. I can’t sleep peacefully here while you guys are out there doing this for me. I already decided that I’m going.」

「Young miss, we should carefully make a plan and then–」

「Shut up, engineer. No plan is going to help us.」

Lark’s statement was correct in a sense.

There was no prospect of getting new information even if they stalled any longer. In any case, they are going to be leaving the success up to chance. If there is no chance of success, then they just have to run away. They have escaped through their enemies’ grasps many times.

(But I don’t want to use your skill this time, young miss.)

The boss thought.

It was almost certain that Lark’s condition was due to her skill. They were trying to obtain a ship to cure her condition, but if they have to use Lark’s skill to get the skip, that defeats the purpose.

「Alright. Let’s get going, you guys. It’s the departure of the sea pirate crew “Salty Sea Breeze”.」

The boss stood up while declaring so.

「…………」

「…………」

「…………」

「Hey, Kook. That shitty naming sense, stop it seriously.」

The cold gaze of his three companions and Lark’s disgusted voice pierced the boss’ heart.

「This is why you guys are unlearned thieves.」

「It has nothing to do with knowledge…」

**

Although Zackerhafen’s downtown area was still crowded at night, the alleys were dark and silent. The sound of waves hitting the shore can be heard constantly.

The five individuals seemed to be walking casually, but none of them made a footstep. Moreover, since they were walking in the shadows, even if there were people who glanced from the main street, they wouldn’t see that as many as five people walked through the back alleys.

The port was even less crowded at night. Bonfires were lit on the transport ships. Guards and mercenaries were standing as sentries, but the fishing boat section was unmanned.

The same was true for the rich people’s docks.

「Oi, is there really a magic ship in this place? It might not be worth as much as an airship, but it should still be worth a fortune, right?…But there’s no security at all.」Lark said.

「M-Magic tools that detect intruders are s-set up…」

The locksmith pointed to the nearest dock.

It was a stone building with a height of about 3 stories, and a number of small windows.

The dock had a huge door facing the harbour. If you can open it, the ship can roll down the slope and straight into the sea.

A rope was tied around the door, with several magic lamp-like objects hanging from it.

「I don’t know the r-range, but if you get c-close, the alarm will sound… It’s simple, but d-dangerous.」

Incidentally, there was a guard station right behind the docks. It seems that soldiers will be dispatched if an alarm sounds. Perhaps the idea was that it is more efficient than setting up sentries.

「How do we get through the alarm, then?」Lark asked.

「There is a magic tool to cancel the alarm. But we don’t have time to create it at the moment.」the scout answered instead.

「Let’s check the rest of the docks.」

Many docks had the same alarm system installed. The number of docks without an alarm system was narrowed down to two. One of them seems to be a dock with a magic ship.

「Our probability of success is fifty-fifty.」

「Heh, that’s not a bad bet. We have nothing to lose anyway, so let’s challenge it.」

Lark said, slamming her right fist into her left hand.