A Terrible Day
After saying goodbye to Bacon, we entered Mister Lontos’s store. It was big but rather dimly lit.
And in the center of the floor, was a boat that appeared to be in the middle of construction. This wasn’t so much a store, but a shipyard. And like the sign suggested, Mister Lontos built and sold the ships here all by himself.
“I can see that you’re impressed, but I can’t sell you this one. It was ordered.”
“I’ve never seen a boat being made before.”
“Ah. And would I be correct in assuming you’ve never piloted one either?”
“Uh, yeah. But I think I could do it if someone taught me…”
“Haha. It’s not something you can learn overnight.”
Well, I happened to have this thing called ‘Jack of all Trades, Master of None.’ It helped me with the basics. The rest was up to practice.
“Don’t worry. I have boats that should be easy enough for the likes of you. Come have a look. Technology these days…it’s quite impressive what they can do with magic tools.”
I see. So even boats used them now. A long time had passed since the age of ancient elves. But perhaps some of that technology was coming back. Who knows.
And so we followed after Mister Lontos. After moving through his workshop, we went outside the back where the river was running.
“There are so many…”
Numerous boats lined the riverbank. There were boats that were about the size you would use for bass fishing. Some were monohulls and others multihulls. Some had sails like yachts even. I was surprised by the variety.
“All of my boats use magic tools. No one wants to row these days. Of course, I think that rowing has its own charm, but that doesn’t mean they’ll sell.”
While he seemed like a passionate craftsman, he was also willing to adapt to recent trends. Maybe it was because he made boats. You don’t fight the tide. …Wait, no. Boats do go against the current too.
“All of them have magic tools that use wind ore. Now, let me explain to you how they work.”
□ □ □ □
For the next three hours, we underwent Mister Lontos’s ‘Piloting Boats for Dummies! -Magic Boats-’ course.
“…But like I said, it took a long time for this final form to be complete. Are you still following?”
“Huh? What is it?”
“You said ‘still.’ Does that mean you’re not finished yet?”
“Why, of course! I have only just briefed you on the history of the magic tools used in the boats. The next part of this story is how they were adopted by the rest of the world…”
“Uh, excuse me. But we really don’t have that much time…”
“WHAT!? Do you not realize that this is the most important part!”
“You must spare us the details…we’re in a hurry…”
It took some convincing after that to persuade Mister Lontos to skip his history lesson and teach us to pilot the boat. By then, it was past midday. It ended up taking two hours to teach us, which meant the whole thing went on for five hours… Daniela looked like she was about to die of starvation.
“Thank you. I think we’re good now. We know everything.”
“Thank you very much. There really is nothing more that you can teach us. Nothing at all.”
“That’s good to know. Still, aren’t you two forgetting something?”
Mister Lontos said as he tilted his head. Daniela and I also had question marks popping up over our heads.
“You haven’t chosen a boat yet.”
So much for being in a rush. After that, he briefed us on each individual boat, their history, the pros and cons, and other personal opinions he had. It was a lot. It was too much. I was starting to really hate boats. And the thought of the upcoming boat ride was enough to throw me into the pits of despair.
Jack of all Trades, Master of None insured that I learned everything about piloting each boat. And for the first time ever, I was annoyed by it.