Second World - Chapter 946
Inside one of the rooms in Seasick Inn, John, Billy, and Rough Criminal were sitting around a table while Will slept on a bed nearby. Billy and Rough Criminal had been describing the general layout of the gulf and its undersea landscape. They even made a hand-drawn map on a large piece of paper and put markings as they explained.
After Billy was done explaining, John pointed to a point on the map. "This is the coordinates I want to get to," he said.
"What? The Demon Tooth Rock? Why do you want to go there?" Billy asked, seemingly agitated after reading the coordinates.
"Why? Is there a problem?" John asked.
"You bet there is," Rough Criminal said. "That place is a forbidden zone. No one goes there."
"Oh? Is there a strong monster there?" John asked. But considering that was where their target was, it was a rhetorical question. He simply wanted to gauge how strong the dragon turtle at that place was. He had gotten the general information from Peniel about the monster, but every monster had slight differences.
"Not really sure, the reason it is a forbidden zone is not that the place is populated by strong monsters," Billy answered.
"Then why can't one go there?"
"Because the Demon Tooth Rock is surrounded by constant whirlpools. One wrong step and your ship will get sucked into the whirlpool, then boom! Your ship is no more," Rough Criminal answered.
"So what? It's not like we can drown in this world," John said.
"Some players thought that and tried to swim through from the surface. But once they got near the whirlpools, they got sucked in. The waves caused by those whirlpools were too strong. And when they were inside the whirlpool, they continuously lost their HP, unable to swim out. They finally died and respawned."
"You also can't go in from underneath," Billy added. "If you look at this map I've drawn, you have to go through the merfolk's territory to reach that part. These merfolks are fine with a few ships passing above their waters as long as you don't cause a disturbance like having a sea battle or something like that. But if you go under the water, they'll consider it as trespassing."
John massaged his chin and pondered. "What about if we circle from the land that formed this gulf and entered from the back?"
"Those land are steep mountainous regions. I don't think it is traversable. At least not by normal people," Billy said. "You can try it if you want, but we won't follow as your guides if you do. We are not interested in doing a fool's errand. Bringing a hundred people, I can't see how you can navigate the terrain. Without flying, I don't see any other way of going to that place."
"I know someone who has sailed through those whirlpool-filled waters," a voice was heard behind them. They turned and saw Will standing there, looking at the map.
"You have rested?" Billy asked. It's just a few hours since they came into this room.
"I never need much sleep anyway," Will said and just took a sit next to them. He didn't look like someone who is deprived of sleep. On the contrary, he looked very energetic. He picked up the map to have a look.
"Friend, you are saying that you know someone who has navigated that part of the waters before?" John asked.
Will placed the map back and looked at John. "Who are you?" He asked.
"He is Saint John. He is the one who brought you here and gave you a nice sleep on a comfy bed," Rough Criminal answered.
"Oh! In that case, thank you, my mate!" Will said with a bright smile and offered his hand for a handshake. John gave his hand. Will grabbed it with both hands and shook it vigorously. "It's not every day we meet kind-hearted strangers in this town, not with all these atrocious and charlatan individuals filling the port."
Will was pointing at Billy and Rough Criminals as he spoke, which drew glares from both that said, 'What the hell do you mean by that?!'
"So, mister Corner…," John said.
"Just Will is fine," Will interjected.
"Of course, mister Corner. You said you know someone who can sail through this whirlpool-invested waters?"
"Okay then. Well, mister Saint. I didn't see it with my own eyes, but a friend of mine told me that he had. Whether he lied to attract attention or bragged about a real accomplishment, I can't say for sure."
"Do you mind telling us who this person is?"
"I most certainly don't mind, but I can't go near him. I can point his direction to you, though."
"Is he a native or a player?"
"I see. A different question. Mister Corner, do you consider yourself a good sailor and adventurer?"
"Mister Saint, I can almost absolutely certain that I am."
"Perfect! I would like to invite you to join our operation. We are hunting something in those coordinates I mentioned. Are you interested?"
"Hunting something?" It was Billy who asked. John hadn't described to them the full extent of the job.
"Yeah, the offspring of a very dangerous monster. Very high level and probably a mythical grade," John answered, which caused Billy and Rough Criminal's eyes to bulge.
"Don't be so anxious. It's not like I ask you to fight that monster. You are simply guides."
"Well, we have shown you the place to go and what you need to know. The terrain under those coordinates is also alien to us, so we don't see how we are still needed. I guess this is how far we can help. We wish you good luck with your endeavor."
"Sure," John said. "Then I don't need to give you the remaining half of the payment. The deal is for you to follow us until our operation is completed."
"Ugh…," Billy grunted and looked at Rough Criminal who shrugged and gave a signal that he would follow Billy's decision. Billy was weighing if eight gold coins were worth the dangerous journey.
"So, what say you?" John asked Will.
"A mission with the risk of almost certain death to traverse impossible terrain into the territory of an extremely dangerous beast? Absolutely!" Will exclaimed. "However, I do have one tiny bit of a problem."
"What sort of a problem?" John asked.
"Well, you see. The reason I can't go near this person that claimed to have navigated into the whirlpool area is that I owe the same guy a ship."
Billy turned to him with an inquisitive gaze.
"Yes, that ship that had sunk when we were on that haunted ship," Will said to Billy, understanding his query. "So, if you somehow manage to hire him to sail your ship into that water. I can't join. He will skin me alive if he sees me."
"Hm… How much do you owe him? What is the price of that ship?"
"Well, it was just a small sailboat that could fit ten sailors, so it's the cheapest one. But even the cheapest ship is still expensive."
"I'll say… around 100 to 150 gold coins, I think?"
"Tell you what. I will settle this debt for you. In exchange, you join our operation and join my guild, what do you say?"
150 gold coins were not a problem for John. The rewards he had received from the invasion war were again higher than even Jack. He also retrieved a portion of the profit from the training center under the Valley of Tempus, which was substantial. He had prepared a large number of coins before coming to this city. The report he had received from the players he sent here did mention that dealing with ship businesses in this city was very expensive.
"Guild…? Uh… I don't really like to be tied down by any organization, you see. I just want to travel the sea."
"If you join my guild. That will be your job, traveling the sea. We will provide you with a ship and if needed, battle-capable crews. In return, you share with us all the information about your travels and we get a 10% profit from everything you acquired on the sea. Profits consist of coins, mana cores, ingredients, and materials. You can keep all the equipment and the other items. Of course, if we have a sea battle, we hope you can join. Not mandatory, but it will be appreciated. What say you?"
"Mmm…," Will appeared to be contemplating.
"Um… Why did he get a payment of hundreds of coins and an offer for a ship while we only get a bloody less than twenty coins?" Billy asked.
"Can you swim for two and a half days straight while battling the aquatic monsters in the sea?" John asked back.
Billy shut his mouth then.
After a minute of pondering, Will finally said, "Mister Saint, how about this? You pay my debt. I join your operation. We see how it goes. If I don't like the people I work with, then I won't join your guild. I will pay off the debt that you've paid for me, but give me time to pay it in installments."
"Sure, but I will require 100% interest if we go with the installment payments," John replied.
"Damn, Mister Saint! Are you truly a saint or is it just the name?"
"It's just the name."
"Ah… That explains a lot. Okay, it's a deal then."
Billy just looked between the two. He couldn't tell who was the one with the benefits here. He sent a message to Rough Criminal, 'I think I will just join. This job seems too dangerous for a meager 14 gold coins, but these people are the number one guild in this country. If we impress them enough, we can probably join as well. They can offer Will a ship without batting an eye. Maybe we can get one too if we prove worthy enough.'
'Okay, bro. I will follow your lead,' Rough Criminal replied.