Chapter 4 – The Calm Sea and the Sea Hippopotamus
The route to the new continent. For the first two thirds of the voyage, we had ideal winds blowing.
We encountered no monsters or storms, and things went smoothly.
“God must be blessing us. Let us be grateful.”
Said the Healer, who was also a priest.
And so the other Adventurers began to offer their prayers.
As Adventurers were often so close to death, many of them were devout in their faith.
Even Victor was praying.
As their comrades, I pretended to do the same.
The scholars watched us with curious expressions.
Perhaps there were no believers among them.
But the following day…
There was no wind at all. And so the ship stopped completely.
When I asked the climatologist, I was told that this state of windlessness would likely continue for some time.
Victor immediately came to consult me.
“Theo. Could you not use your crafting skill to create some kind of device to make fresh water?”
Clearly, he was preparing to stay here for a long time.
“It’s very difficult to make complex objects with my crafting skill.”
If he wanted fresh water, then I would have to make a filtration device.
However, it was difficult to filter out dissolved salt.
You would need a filtration film that had holes that were smaller than the eye could see.
And you would also need something that could apply pressure to the sea water.
After explaining all of this to him,
“That sounds like it’s in the realm of magic tools.”
“Aye. And it is not easy for me to create magic tools. You need a lot of special materials.”
“I could easily make a distiller, which is not a magic tool. But you would need fuel.”
“We could ask the Sorcerer to use magic fire for the fuel.”
“That might work.”
“Please give it a try.”
“I don’t think we will be able to make a lot of fresh water, but I suppose it’s still better than nothing.”
And so Victor and I discussed how we would go about making a simple distiller.
What materials we would need and what size it would be.
After all, there was limited space on the ship.
Still, sacrifices would have to be made. We could not live if we ran out of fresh water.
As Victor and I began drawing blueprints and discussing the matter seriously,
“Ah! There’s something in the water!”
One of the Adventurers who was watching the sea let out a scream.
Victor and I put our work aside and went to see what had happened.
“Ma-master Victor! Look! Look! Can you see that strange thing?”
From the starboard, at a distance of about fifty meters, some sort of sea creature was swimming in a circle.
Not only that, but it was moving towards us.
“…Kelly! Come over here. There’s a monster.”
Victor called the monsterologist.
Kelly came running and looked at the monster with a serious expression.
“…What is that.”
She muttered and then inspected it.
After about half a minute, Kelly opened her mouth again with excitement.
“It’s shaped like the hippopotamuses you see in rivers. But no one has ever discovered one of this size before!”
Hippopotamuses were land animals that were big like bears.
However, the monster right in front of us would dwarf any bear. It was almost as big as our ship.
On top of that, it had two large horns on its head. Once you noticed the horns, it looked a little like a bull as well.
And unlike hippopotamuses, it had a long, thick tail. The tail seemed to help propel it forward in the water.
“It’s amazing. An undiscovered species.”
Kelly pulled out her notebook and started to sketch the creature.
This was the reaction you would expect from a scholar. A new discovery was something very exciting.
I understood how she felt.
In general, we did not travel out to the open sea.
And so these places were like a treasure trove of discovery.
An actual paradise for a monsterologist.
However, Adventurers did not feel the same way.
We needed to protect our ship from this hippopotamus-like monster.
One after another, the Adventurers gathered to starboard where they could see it.
There were so many of them that the ship began to tilt.
“All of you. You don’t have to gather together yet.”
Victor gave orders to the Adventurers.
They separated into a vanguard and rear guard so that the ship could maintain its balance.
“You must not attack until I give the order.”
And then Victor came to stand next to me.
“So, what kind of temperament will our hippopotamus show… Any guesses, Theo?”
“I hope that it’s not hostile. But the hippopotamuses that I know were always vicious.”
There could be a few reasons as to why it was now swimming alongside the ship.
It could just be curiosity, or maybe it was hungry. Perhaps we had invaded its territory.
We had to be sure that we knew what this hippopotamus wanted.
“The-the Sea Hippo is crying! Is it calling its friends? Do these creatures live in groups?”
Apparently, Kelly had named the monster, Sea Hippo.
As it was a new species, I thought she might as well call it what she wanted.
“It will not move away from us.”
The Sea Hippo was only about twenty meters away now.
Even Victor, who was a seasoned warrior, seemed quite nervous. As were the other Adventurers.
A battle at sea was to be avoided if possible.
If something that large rammed the ship, it could cause it to sink.
“I see. Even its ears resemble a normal hippopotamus.”
However, Kelly seemed to be very happy. It couldn’t be helped. She was a scholar.
Kelly was one thing, but nothing good could happen if the Adventurers continued to be this nervous.
They were all first-rate Adventurers, but there was no guarantee that they wouldn’t attack out of fear.
“Victor. Could you leave this to me for awhile?”
“I don’t mind… But what are you going to do?”
“I’m going to try and tame it.”
And so I raised my hand towards the Sea Hippo and activated the skill.