Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
The lobby of the Pritz Harbor Ticket Company was rather spacious, with seven ticketing windows, but there were already a dozen or so people lined up in front of each.
Klein took a glance and didn’t directly go to the one with the fewest people. Instead, he took two steps to the right and arrived in front of an erected brown board.
There were many pieces of white paper pasted on the wooden board, announcing all the information about the recent week’s passenger ships, including their destinations, the ports they passed, and the prices of the different cabins.
Before Klein could take a closer look, a staff member came over and drew a red circle on the second-class cabin of one line, marking it with a single phrase: “Sold out.”
“So popular…” Klein sighed.
“Of course, Pritz Harbor is the kingdom’s largest port. Countless people pass through here to the Southern Continent and the colonial islands to seek out opportunities,” a middle-aged man who was standing next to the wooden board replied in a clearly boastful manner.
He was wearing a black bonnet and a black-and-white checkered uniform similar to that of the police, but he had no epaulets. All he had was a seagull badge hanging from his chest—exactly identical to the logo of the Pritz Harbor Ticket Company.
The middle-aged man’s face, hands, and all of his exposed skin were bronze in color and rather rough. It was as if he had been exposed to the sea breeze and the sun for many years to the point of giving people the feeling that he had salt in his wrinkles.
Find the guard in the lobby if there’s a dispute… This should be the guard… Klein remembered the things he had to pay attention to at the door. He didn’t mind that the other party had taken the initiative to talk to him. He smiled and said, “You seem to understand this port very well?”
Hearing this question, the middle-aged man replied quite smugly, “I was once a sailor with the kingdom’s navy, and their main base was located at Pritz Harbor’s Oak Island. I served for fifteen years and spent a long time in the sea around here. If it wasn’t for East Balam’s war destroying my health, then I could be a sailor for another ten years! I know this port as well as I know my wife’s body! ”
A little cultured but also a little vulgar… Klein casually chatted with him, having the intention of asking about news on the sea.
“You became a guard here after retiring?”
“No, I was crammed into a night school for two whole years as a student and as a gatekeeper. Holy Lord of Storms, can you imagine the scene of someone my age reciting with a bunch of teenagers? And they know and remember words faster than I do!” The guard showed an expression that showed how unbearable it was to reflect on the past.
As he spoke, he patted his thigh and sighed.
“Unfortunately, my knees can’t stand wet weather; otherwise, I would be a part-time teacher at night. Those kids will make you feel young, but I won’t deny that it’s because I want to earn more money. When you have a wife and four children, you have to realize that you have to support your family.”
Sir, you talk a little too much… Maybe that’s why the ticket company hired you as a guard… Klein smiled and didn’t continue with the man’s topic.
“I just saw the things to take note of at the door and found that canned wolf-fish are not permitted to be opened here. Frankly speaking, I’ve never heard of such a thing.”
The guard’s expression suddenly became complicated.
He pinched his nose and said, “It’s a food that’s popular in places like the east coast of Feysac and the Gargas Archipelago. It’s wolf-fish pickled in salt, but it retains the blood, and the smell—the smell is very, very stimulating. It stinks and it’s disgusting!”
It turns out to be a food of unknown origins… Klein laughed and said, “But I don’t think anyone would specially eat canned food while waiting in line to buy a ticket, right?”
“No, you don’t understand that feeling. Perhaps, one day you will.” The guard showed a look of lingering fear. “There was once a barbarian from the north who came here to buy a ticket. As there were already many people lined up in front, causing the hall to look like a barrel filled with fish, he became very anxious, so he opened a can of wolf-fish. In less than ten seconds, only he and a few guys were left in the lobby.”
This… this is a biological weapon… An ordinary version of my Biological Poison Bottle… Klein laughed.
“In the end, he successfully bought a ticket, and a new point to take note of was added outside?”
“The result wasn’t as he expected. The lady and the gentleman in charge of ticket sales also escaped. Heh heh, as you know, the brains of barbarians are even worse than that of curly-haired baboons!” The guard chuckled. “When I was a sailor, there was a rumor at sea that a group of pirates controlled a merchant ship from Rolls. Ah, that’s a city on the east coast of Feysac. In short, the pirates eagerly opened their spoils, but who knew that they were barrels filled to the brim with wolf-fish. Can you guess the outcome? They fainted, vomited, and lost their fighting power, and the crew received their bounty reward.”
“Good story.” Klein tried not to laugh.
He returned his gaze to the pieces of paper on the wooden board and searched for information for a ship scheduled to depart on 5th January.
As a professional, he had previously divined which date was suitable for setting sail on this week. It came out to be the 5th and 8th. And among the passenger ships that headed to the Rorsted Archipelago, the Saint Havre and the White Agate suited him the most.
There are still tickets, and the prices are about the same: four pounds for third-class, ten pounds for second-class, and thirty-five pounds for first-class… People who depend on the sea for survival more or less believe in the Lord of the Storms. Even in countries like Intis and Feysac, there are fishermen and crew who secretly believe in this forbidden deity, in a bid to be safe out at sea… The name Saint Havre originates from the Church of Storms. It has a certain background… Klein thought it over. He was inclined to choose the White Agate.
Not in a rush to make a decision, he turned to look at the guard.
“Do you know anything about the White Agate?”
The guard immediately smiled.
“Sir, you have a good eye. The White Agate is a steam-powered ship, but it also retains a sail. Its maximum speed is 16 knots.
“Also, the captain is very experienced. He was once the boatswain of the Royal Navy’s William V. No—it should be the Imperial Navy. The king has always claimed that he obtained the title of Emperor in Balam. Heh, in the Imperial Navy, no matter how outstanding or excellent the average person is, he can at most become a boatswain. He cannot be an officer unless—unless you can satisfy your superior, regardless of what method is used! Only then can you be recommended to the Pritz Naval Academy as a reserve officer!
“This is how Elland was forced to leave the navy and ended up joining the White Agate where he slowly became Captain one step at a time.
“I suggest you choose a first-class cabin. That way, you’ll have rooms for three to four servants, an attendant who has received etiquette lessons, an appointed chef who has excellent culinary skills, a quiet restaurant where you can enjoy the scenery, a special room for smoking cigars, and a place where you can gather and play cards…”
Hearing the guard’s detailed explanation, Klein couldn’t help but feel suspicious.
Noticing his expression, the guard smiled in embarrassment.
“Elland was my boss in the past. He would often treat me to drinks and ask me to help him promote the first-class cabins. But you can rest assured that everything I say is true!”
This really isn’t the problem; it’s a problem with money… Klein silently said to himself.
Having made up his mind, he asked after some deliberation, “Sir, what advice do you have for a maritime adventurer?”
To suit Gehrman Sparrow’s identity, Klein had modified his image slightly to make himself seem colder and sharper.
“Adventurer?” The guard unconsciously raised his voice.
Many people in the queue turned to look at Klein.
Based on his spiritual intuition, Klein instinctively traced a line of sight.
He saw a man in his thirties wearing a black top hat. He had a boorish face, weather-beaten wrinkles, a strong but not tall body, and pale blue eyes that had experienced a lot.
Another adventurer? Klein and the man looked away just as their eyes met.
At that moment, the guard squeezed out a smile and said, “I’m sorry, I’m a bit too sensitive on the term adventurer. In my opinion, this is equivalent to a fugitive, a sea villain, and a person who goes against his pledges. No, I’m not talking about you.
“You want sincere advice? I… Uh, you have to remember three things.
“First, do not provoke pirates. Second, do not provoke pirates. Third, do not provoke pirates!
“Unless you’re a member of the navy or the Church, do not go against the pirates!”
“Eh… Don’t be fooled by the enthusiasm of the island girls. They’re either pirates or want you to take them to Pritz, to Backlund. It’s not entirely their fault. In order to cheat them of their bodies, many sailors, crew, and passengers paint them a very attractive metropolis and a very beautiful life, then kick them out of their beds and abandon them, leaving them in their original spots.”
What a bunch of vile people… In this era, people who live on the sea can’t be too kind… Is the order at sea that bad? Pirates are this rampant? Klein nodded and said, “Thank you, I know what to do now.”
Saying this, he walked over to the line with the least number of people.
Behind him, the guard shouted, “And the legends of treasure at sea are all fake!”
After buying a second-class ticket for the White Agate, Klein returned to the hotel and waited patiently for the night to descend.
In the process, he had enjoyed the most famous fried fish in the Pritz Harbor. He thought that the taste was pretty good, but he definitely couldn’t accept eating it all the time.
When it was close to eight o’clock, he went above the gray fog, holding the badge from Lanevus in one hand and writing the corresponding sentence in the other.
“The situation of the gathering this time.”
Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock. When his pocket watch struck eight, he closed his eyes, leaned back in his chair, and began to recite the divination statement.
He had reason to believe that when the door of the gathering opened, he would be able to divine something above the gray fog with the aid of this medium which had locked onto the location!
He had failed before because nothing had happened yet, but this was different. Things were happening now, and Klein had the right medium!
Soon, Klein entered a gray, blurry dream world.
He saw the Tussock River flowing quietly, a wide river valley on the two sides, and about a dozen people in different positions. They were shrouded in thin light, vanishing indistinctively or illusorily.
One of them had black hair and green eyes. He looked quite handsome, and he was a familiar face to Klein.