Translating Japanese Web Novels to English

WM V2C0372

Chapter 0372 Procuring a Ship

Translator: Jay_Forestieri

Editor: Tseirp

 

The next day.

Appetizing dinner, comfortable sleep, delicious breakfast.

 

It was perfect, still.

 

The inn did not disappoint one bit.

After breakfast, Ryo did some light stretching and then went down to the reception.

 

“Your carriage is ready, Duke Rondo.”

“Thank you.”

 

He had already received a report that an appointment for a meeting had been arranged for that day at nine o’clock.

This time, as the representative of the Kingdom, the Premier Duke, and possibly a guest, he decided to properly ride in a carriage.

However, he was wearing his usual robe.

 

Well, his robe was always clean, as it does not get dirty at all, so it shouldn’t be a problem….

 

 

At exactly nine o’clock, he passed through the gates of the Franzoni Shipping Company.

About ten people stood in the driveway to greet Ryo’s carriage.

 

“We have been expecting you, Your Excellency Duke Rondo.”

The man who welcomed Ryo’s carriage was Girolamo Franzoni, chairman of the Franzoni Shipping Company.

The chairman himself came to the driveway to welcome him.

It was the highest level of hospitality.

 

“Hello, Mr. Girolamo, it’s been a while. I apologize for this unexpected visit.”

“No problem. You are always welcome. Please come this way.”

 

 

As before, he was ushered into the chairman’s office.

 

Coffee from the Dark Continent was served aptly.

 

 

“So… may I ask why you are here today, Your Excellency?”

Girolamo asked.

“Actually, I’m here to buy a ship that can sail long distances.”

“I see…”

Upon hearing Ryo’s words, Girolamo trailed off.

 

But from his expression, even Ryo could tell.

He already knew that.

 

Girolamo’s brother is Bonifacio Franzoni, Bureau Chief of the Secret Services Agency.

Captain Bangan and Vice Captain Amalia, who came to Ryo yesterday, must have reported the information to their superior, Chief Bonifacio.

It would not be surprising if the information was then passed on to Chairman Girolamo.

 

Of course, it was no problem even if the information was passed on.

It didn’t change anything for Ryo.

 

 

“Do you have any vessels for sale right away?”

Ryo asked point-blank.

“My apologies, sir. When it comes to ships that can sail long distances, we only build them upon commission. We don’t retain finished products of those…”

Girolamo’s response was as expected.

 

 

Now came the negotiations.

 

 

“I would like to buy off the one you currently have under construction.”

“That’s a bit…”

Girolamo refused Ryo without changing his expression.

 

It was only natural.

Every ship under construction has a commissioner.

The schedule for completion and delivery to the client has also been decided….

If they gave it away to Ryo unilaterally, it would become a matter of credibility for the Company.

 

“We are prepared to pay the commissioner handsomely for their troubles.”

“I see.”

Ryo dived back in and Girolamo nodded.

 

As far as Franzoni Shipping Company is concerned, they’re okay with it as long as the client agrees.

If the commissioner shook hands on the amount Ryo was offering and relinquished the ship, then they’re cool with it.

 

Or….

 

“You can also recommend vessels that have already been launched but have yet to set out to the waters.”

 

Basically, vessels used for shipping are always busy going back and forth.

Some may even have ports of call scheduled for several months or even a year in some cases.

Otherwise, they won’t be able to determine their overall cargo.

 

In other words, even if one were to go to a port and say, “Please sell me this ship”, it would be futile.

Since the ship is already scheduled to be in operation for the next few months.

 

 

However, there is only one instance in which the schedule is open.

 

When the ship is undergoing maintenance.

 

A ship is dry docked, undergoes repairs of the draft and cleaning over several months.

 

With a ship like that, it’s not necessarily impossible… to strike a deal to buy one.

 

 

But Chairman Girolamo, with a small shake of his head, told Ryo the tragic truth.

“Your Excellency. There is a law that once a ship is registered in the Republic, it cannot be sold to another country.”

“What…”

As expected, that was not listed in the ‘Travel Guide’.

 

“You mean I have no choice but to get a ship that’s under construction… and not yet registered?”

“Yes, most likely.”

Ryo said reluctantly, and Girolamo replied with a frown.

 

 

The hurdle for procuring the ship had just been raised significantly.

 

 

The Franzoni Shipping Company builds ships but also trades using its vessels.

And it’s one of the largest in the Republic…

“Even our company has only three vessels that can sail long distances.”

 

In other words, not many clients have placed orders for shipbuilding.

 

“At present, we have only one ship under contract.”

“One ship…”

“If it’s a ship that can go from the coast to the Dark Continent, we always have close to ten ships under contract…. But for ones that can sail long distances…. And even that one vessel…”

“That one vessel…?”

“Was commissioned by the government of the Republic.”

“Argh…”

 

 

And the most powerful hand of money was thus blocked.

 

 

His remaining cards were the holy seal that he has been borrowing, and his status as the premier duke of the Kingdom.

But the holy seal would prove counterproductive in the Republic.

Leaving him with his status as the premier duke of the Kingdom… only.

 

“This is way too cruel.”

As expected, Ryo shook his head repeatedly.

 

 

 

After leaving Franzoni Shipping Company, Ryo’s carriage headed for the inn Doge Pietro.

Where he politely asked the receptionist.

“Could you please arrange an appointment for me to meet with the head of state at the official residence tomorrow?”

“Certainly sir.”

 

Though he made the request, he wasn’t expecting that it would be accepted, but… his request was received as usual.

Would a first-class inn even be able to arrange a meeting with the top brass of the official residence of the head of state…?

First-class inns are not to be underestimated.

 

 

Next, Ryo headed to the headquarters of the Secret Services Agency.

While waiting at the reception, Captain Bangan and Vice Captain Amalia called out to him.

 

 

“Sorry for keeping you waiting, Your Excellency.”

Bangan and Amalia hurriedly ran over and bowed before Ryo.

 

“Oh, not at all, sorry for dropping in unannounced. I was wondering if you could help me out with a certain part of the laws of the Republic.”

“The laws of the Republic?”

“Help you out?”

Upon hearing Ryo’s words, both Bangan and Amalia tilted their heads.

 

 

“Ah, this is it. Article 200 of the Law of the Sea.”

Repository of the Secret Services Agency.

That was where all of the Republic’s laws, ordinances, bureau chief’s notices, were kept.

 

In any country, secret services, or intelligence agencies, are amazingly law-savvy.

Because they also need to know how shielded or vulnerable they are before they act unlawfully.

 

Without an understanding of the grey areas, they can’t conduct proper espionage.

 

In the repository of the Secret Services Agency, Captain Bangan and Vice Captain Amalia were showing Ryo the pertinent parts of the law.

 

“Mm… I guess there’s really no way around acquiring a ship that’s already been registered in the Republic uh…”

“Looks like it. It is not possible to change the registration record of a ship to any other country other than the Republic. As a matter of fact, it is also not possible for non-Republican to own one…”

Ryo was dejected, and Bangan also shook his head slightly.

 

“According to Article 333 of the Regulations for Enforcement of the Law of the Sea, the registration of the ship takes place when the vessel is delivered from the shipyard, so I believe only vessels that are under construction or have yet to begin at all… can be obtained by the Kingdom.”

Amalia also checked to see if there were any holes in terms of the period of ship registration, but no such luck as it turned out….

 

“Now, where do I go from here…”

 

Ryo was at his wit’s end….

 

 

 

The next day.

“Duke Rondo, we are preparing a carriage.”

“Thank you.”

 

Doge Pietro had properly arranged the appointment to meet with the bigwig at the official residence of the Head of State.

 

On top of that….

 

 

“Thank you for making the time to see me, Your Excellency.”

“Of course, Your Excellency the Duke.”

Ryo thanked him, and the one-eyed Head of State Columbano, replied.

 

Doge Pietro arranged a meeting with the Head of State….

Though Ryo is the premier duke of the Kingdom… first-class inns are not to be underestimated indeed.

 

 

Head of State Columbano is an imposing figure, standing at a height of one hundred and ninety centimeters and weighing ninety kilograms.

He is in his late forties, with a dark skin tone and short-cropped… dark-brown hair that has already begun to blend with white.

And the most distinctive feature is his left eye covered by an eye patch.

Perhaps it was more fitting to call him a pirate boss than the head of the Republic….

 

Columbano, is, by nature, a man of the sea.

“Actually, I have a pretty good idea why you’re here, Duke.”

Head of State Columbano is not good at embellishing his words.

And therefore direct in his speech.

“Ah, that makes things much easier.”

So is Ryo, like two peas in a pod.

 

“You need a ship that can sail long distances. But in the Republic, once a ship is registered in the Republic, it cannot be sold to another country. So, you thought about getting a ship that is under construction and can sail long distances. But currently, the only long-distance vessel under construction at Franzoni Shipping Company is the one commissioned by the government of the Republic. And you want it.”

“Yes, that is absolutely correct.”

Columbano’s explanation was perfectly accurate.

 

“Incidentally, there are several shipyards in the Republic besides the Franzoni Shipping Company, but… none of them are currently building long-distance vessels that are nearing completion.”

“Oh dear…”

“In other words, your only option is the ship commissioned by the government of the Republic, but unfortunately…”

“Unfortunately…?”

“I’m sorry, we can’t give it away.”

“…Is that so?”

 

 

He half-expected that.

 

 

If this was commissioned by an individual or a trading company, it might have been manageable using the power of money and friendship.

But a government, it immediately became impossible.

 

It is no one’s fault, that’s just how it is with countries.

 

 

It’s like asking some high-ranking government official or top bureaucrat to sell off what belongs to the nation without permission, right?

Can’t fault him.

National assets are the assets of the entire nation.

Even if the government is entrusted with their management, it is not allowed to dispose of them arbitrarily.

Of course, it would be fine if the disposal was following the law, but this was not the case.

 

The government selling a ship under construction to another country….

 

It is obvious that the congress would witch-hunt him later.

Might even serve as justification for the impeachment of the Head of State if he was not careful.

 

 

It was never an option to begin with….

 

 

 

Ryo then went to the Franzoni Shipping Company.

He didn’t have an appointment, but Chairman Girolamo met with him.

 

“Sadly, I’ve run out of options.”

Ryo nodded and told him so.

“I see…”

Chairman Girolamo replied with a sad expression.

 

Standing in their way was the law of the land.

And the assets of the state.

 

Certainly not some trivialities that could be resolved by an individual or a chamber of commerce….

 

 

“Ah, Your Excellency. Would you like to see the ship that the government of the Republic commissioned?”

Chairman Girolamo must have extended the invitation to Ryo because he looked so depressed.

Probably thought it wouldn’t be a good idea to turn him away looking so.

 

“Sure…. Thank you.”

Ryo’s answer was also really lackluster….

 

 

 

The second shipyard of the Franzoni Shipping Company.

There, a huge ship was being built.

 

“Ooohhh~”

Even Ryo, who had been depressed, could not help but gawk and exclaim.

It was truly majestic.

 

By Earth’s sailing ship standards, it would be somewhere between a Ship of the Line and a Frigate.

 

“Huh? A Ship of the Line? Nah, it doesn’t have cannons yet… right…?”

Ryo’s muttering was heard by Girolamo, but he didn’t seem to understand it.

 

“Uh… this vessel is a combat ship, right? How does it mount an offense…”

“The small window on the side of the ship opens, and the magicians fire through it.”

“I-I see…”

 

Not artillery bombardment, but magicians’ bombardment….

Technology develops differently depending on the region.

 

 

“Would’ve loved to have it…”

Ryo gazed at the majesty of the battleship and muttered.

 

Of course, it doesn’t have to be a battleship.

 

 

Ryo went ahead and asked what he suddenly noticed.

“Chairman Girolamo, you called this place the second shipyard, right? What about the first…?”

“Oh…. It’s right next to here. There’s a ship under construction but currently suspended there, would you like to take a look?”

“Currently suspended? Uh sure, I’d love to see it.”

 

 

The first shipyard appeared to be larger than the second shipyard.

 

Stepping inside….

 

“A clipper…”

 

Although the battleship he saw earlier was majestic, this one was elegant.

 

When it came to elegant ships, the Rain Shooter he saw in Whitnash was the first thing that came to mind, but this was different.

No, like totally different.

 

That was a Trimaran.

 

But the one right before his eyes now was, by the looks of it, a genuine sailing vessel.

On Earth, this type of vessel would be called a clipper ship.

 

Three huge masts for multiple sails.

A graceful hull, long and narrow front to back, to minimize water resistance.

 

It was unmistakably a clipper ship, that even Ryo seemed to be familiar with.

 

Like the sailing ship Nippon Maru, it was no exaggeration to say that is the pinnacle of beauty.

The ultimate structural beauty possible for a sailing vessel.

That’s the clipper ship… Ryo concluded unilaterally.

 

 

Considering that most of the ships in the Central Countries were still galleons, this clipper ship had also achieved an extraordinary evolution.

 

But, as Chairman Girolamo said earlier:

“The construction of the ship is currently suspended”.

How come?

 

 

“How could the construction of a ship as beautiful and wonderful as this be put on hold…?”

“Yeah. Truth is, this ship doesn’t move.”

“Eh?”

The mast was there.

So was the rudder.

The exterior looked good.

All that was left was to set the sails and she should be good to go, right?

 

“This ship, as it is, has poor stability and will topple sideways the moment it is hit by a side wave. We made some modifications to address this problem, but the calculations showed that this in turn would cause a significant drop in speed. Originally, the ship can be propelled not only by wind-attribute magic, but also as a pure sailing ship that does not need any magic at all…. That’s where the problem came in. So, alchemy was supposed to solve the problem of stability, but…”

“But…? Wait, d-don’t tell me, Mr. Neil?”

 

Girolamo’s explanation solved the puzzle for Ryo.

 

“Yeah. Sir Andersen was supposed to solve the problem, but he left the country…. And since the government of the Republic was responsible for it, they of course, promised that the problem of this ship would be solved by the alchemists in the service of the government. But as you can see… they couldn’t.”

“I see.”

 

 

Finally… really, at long last, strength returned to Ryo’s eyes.

 

 

“Excuse me, could you show me the blueprints of this ship for a moment?”

 

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3 Comments

  1. Lazy_guy

    Alchemist Protégé Ryo in action!

  2. CounterMAN

    tbh i have to google search alot about sail ship classes for this chapter lol

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