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Read Black Iron’s Glory Chapter 28

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Chapter 28Sailing

 

`The ship Old Sunny rent them was called Arrowfish, as in the fish that sped like an arrow and was agile as a fish in water . However, there were too many of those small fishing boats in Whitestag and n.o.body would care about their names . Even in the town personal property records, it was simply recorded as one single-sail fishing boat belonging to Sunny .

There were three cabins on the boat and the boards covering them would have to be removed before entry . The two cabins at the front of the boat was large and small respectively . Within the larger one was a single-person wooden bed and it was there for the crew to take turns to rest as they fished through the night . The smaller cabin on the other hand was used for storage . Items like charcoal, firewood, bowls, plates and buckets could be found there . Sometimes the crew would just start cooking on the ship .

The last cabin was the livewell . It was the largest of the three where fishes could be stored in water . There was a movable plank at the bottom of the ship that could be opened to let the lake water into the cabin . Any fish that were caught could be stored there . That way, even if reach fishing trip took up to two days and three nights, the ships on the ship wouldn’t die and they’d remain fresh until the trip ended .

Lake Balinga was huge and it was said to be almost 50 kilometers in length and near ten kilometers in width . One end of it was connected to the sea and the other connected to Swamp Kemda . In other words, Lake Balinga was the intersection point between seawater and freshwater . However, given the flat and wide terrain, it became a lake near the deep waters of the ocean .

That was also the reason the water in Lake Balinga was rather weird . A third of it, the part that was nearest to Swamp Kemda, had freshwater, while the third that connected to the sea had salt water . The third of the lake near Whitestag was a mix of the two, with the water tasting slightly salty .

It was because of that unique environment that Lake Balinga produced unique fishing goods that would taste wonderful even when preserved dried . For example, the most of the dried longtail swordfish fished from Lake Balinga would be given to the Stellin royal family as tribute . There wasn’t an other option but to dry them out as longtail swordfish died three hours after being out of water .

“Raise the salls! Arrowfish will soon depart!” shouted Eriksson with a serious look on his face as he held the wheel .

Welikro undid the dock lines and Claude pulled onto the hemp rope tied to the pulley on the mast to unveil a worn down sail that had been patched up who knows how many times . Borkal on the other hand pushed against the jetty with the punt and moved the ship towards the center of the lake .

Borkal stood at the front of the ship, stretched out the middle finger on his right hand and gave it a lick before stretching it out in the air . After making a slight twirl, he shouted to Eriksson, “There’s no wind! What’s the point of the sail?!”

“There’s no harm is opening it up first . There will be some wind after we move further away from sh.o.r.e . ” Eriksson then pointed at Welikro and Claude . “You two, don’t slack off . Hurry and start rowing . At this rate, we won’t arrive by midnight . “

Having no choice, Claude got two oars from the deck and started rowing with Welikro on both sides .

After ten or so minutes of rowing, they were about a hundred meters away from the sh.o.r.e . It was then when a slight breeze could be felt across the lake . Eriksson said delightedly, “Alright, adjust the sails and pay attention to the direction of the wind . The two of you don’t have to row anymore . “

After putting away his oar with Welikro, Claude sat down on the deck and rubbed his shoulders as he complained, “Darn, I’m worn out . “

“You lack training . Look at Wero . He’s completely fine,” replied Eriksson .

Borkal adjusted the sail and fixed it in position with a rope . He then asked, “Given our speed, how much time do we need to reach our destination?”

Eriksson looked at the sail like he knew what he was doing to judge the wind speed . “Perhaps two or three hours . The wind isn’t strong enough so the sail isn’t providing enough push, so the ship won’t be able to sail quickly enough . “

“Why must we dock at the outpost near the waterway over there? Can’t we just cross Lake Balinga from here all the way to the foot of the mountain? We can just dock wherever there . If the ship’s fast enough, we don’t even have to spend an hour,” complained Borkal .

Eriksson smiled and shook his head . “Boa, you’re no fisherman nor sailor . Everyone who makes a living from Lake Balinga that the sh.o.r.e between the foot of the mountain of Egret and the sh.o.r.e of Lake Balinga is a swampy mess . There’s no way for a ship to dock . Look at all the aquatic plants and floating logs there . You’ll instantly sink halfway down if you set foot there and won’t be able to move .

“So, even though that is the shortest way, there’s no way for us to dock . Instead, we’ll have to waste time sailing along the sh.o.r.e to reach the stone outpost to dock and that will take even more time . As there is hard rock and a small river over there, our boat can dock properly . ”

Claude turned to Welikro and asked, “Wero, didn’t you go to Egret with your father during the past two years? Did you use this route as well?”

Welikro proudly replied, “No, we didn’t . We didn’t even use a ship, because it was winter and the area between Lake Balinga and Swamp Kemda froze from the cold . The ice that formed is hard enough . MY father and I would use sledges to travel across the ice surface to react the foot of Egret . Since the swamp area is mostly covered by snow, it’s firm enough for us to start climbing the mountain there . “

It was currently the end of the 5th month and the flowers of spring were in full bloom . The aquatic plants by the side of the lake growed prosperously, making the lake look completely different from its white, bare state during winter . There was no easy way to get ash.o.r.e, so they could only go to the rocky outpost to dock .

However, sitting on the deck of the boat with nothing better to do was a little too boring . Eriksson was holding the wheel and he gave an idea . When he brought his net onto the ship, he also took two fishing poles . He said that they should have a fishing compet.i.tion as the ship sailed to see who could catch the most .

As the ship didn’t stop during the course of fishing, it presented more challenging than usual . Borkal and Welikro grabbed one pole each and went to the tail of the boat . Eriksson stood behind them and announced the start of the match, giving a simple brief about whose fishing skills were better and antic.i.p.ating the roasted fish they would have for dinner .

Claude on the other hand couldn’t be bothered to get up . He half-leaned against the side of the ship and looked up at the blue sky . He saw the white clouds floating above him, feeling nothing but warmth from the golden rays of sunlight that he basked in . The water in the distance glittered and small dots, probably other fishing boats, could be seen floating around . The surface of the lake in his vicinity seemed to be slightly wavy and the refreshing breeze blew all over . It was as if he was in a beautiful landscape painting .

But not long after, Borkal and Welikro’s noise disrupted this rare period of tranquil relaxation time . The two fools had somehow managed to tangle their fishing lines together and were blaming one another for it .

But not long after, Borkal and Welikro’s noise disrupted this rare period of tranquil relaxation time . The two fools had somehow managed to tangle their fishing lines together and were blaming one another for it .

Eriksson said helplessly, “Claude, take the wheel for me . I will go undo those entangled strings . “

Come to think of it, n.o.body on the ship was as capable as Eriksson . He had lived and breathed sailing since young . Claude had heard more often than once experienced sailors at the docks praising Eriksson for being far more capable than sailors who’ve been sailing for more than six years . The Altroni family had a worthy successor .

Perhaps part of what the sailors said was to b.u.t.ter up to Captain Altroni, but even they wouldn’t say something that was completely without basis . If took Eriksson but a few minutes to untangle the fishing lines that Welikro and Borkal were unable to after much time and argument . After checking the hooks and lures before having the other two stand on each side of the boat so that they wouldn’t get into another argument .

“I think we can just fix the wheel in place . Since the lake is so large, we only have to sail in one direction and there’s no need to constantly watch over it,” said Claude .

Eriksson came back to Claude’s side and said with a laugh, “No, the most important part of a sailing ship is the wheel . It’s not only a matter of the course we’re taking . We also have to avoid reefs or collisions with other vessels . Even though we’re currently in Lake Balinga and there’s no reef here, there are still quite a lot of fishing boats . It’s best if two ships are separated by at least a hundred meters so as not to disturb each other’s fishing . Additionally, there would sometimes be undercurrents in the lake and many fishing boats would also have nets placed in those areas and pull them up from time to time to see if there’s any catch . We would have to pay attention to those wooden floats on the surface and avoid them . This is all the responsibility of the helmsman . “

Claude nodded . “I see . I didn’t think that there was so much to the helm . I always thought that setting on the correct course was all there was . “

“Haha, it’s nothing once you get used to it . ” Eriksson stuck his finger out to check for the wind direction . “Hold the wheel for me while I go adjust the lower sail . The wind is a little strong and we can increase the speed of the ship a little bit more . “

The two of them took turns to manage the wheel and Claude used the opportunity to ask Eriksson to impart him with some of his sailing experience . Time pa.s.sed rather quickly and n.o.body felt boring during the trip at all . Borkal and Welikro on the other hand managed to yammer for two whole hours without being able to catch a single fish even though they used up the whole bucket of redbug fish bait Eriksson brought for them .

In the distant sh.o.r.e, a run-down stone castle could be seen . They were almost at the stone outpost . It was said that centuries ago, pirates were all over the place and they frequently attacked coastal fishing villages . They plundered, killed, and committed all sorts of ills . Naturally, Whitestag wasn’t spared from pirate activity as well .

In the distant sh.o.r.e, a run-down stone castle could be seen . They were almost at the stone outpost . It was said that centuries ago, pirates were all over the place and they frequently attacked coastal fishing villages . They plundered, killed, and committed all sorts of ills . Naturally, Whitestag wasn’t spared from pirate activity as well .

As days went by, Whitestag formed their own militia and they build a small stone fortress at the entrance of the waterway . Initially, it was only used to alert the rest through the use of a smoke signal so that the folk of Whitestag could hide away in time . Later on, the stone fortress came to be known as the stone outpost and that name has stuck on ever since .

Later, people realized that the pirate ships would lose their mobility and agility after entering the long, narrow waterway . So, they began to set traps and ambushed the pirate ships, using catapults and fire arrows to take care of all the pirates that came to raid them and obtaining a huge haul .

Ever since then, the stone outpost had become a military camp . When Stellin IX fired the first shot that kicked off the kingdom’s restoration in Whitestag, one of the firearms brigade of the baron ruling over the town was stationed at the stone outpost . However, their reinforcement came a little too late . by the time they arrive, Stellin IX had already conquered Whitestag and the landed baron had become a prisoner .

Later, the soldiers of that brigade accepted Stellin IX’s recruitment offer and became the first formal combat unit under him . From then on, the military camp at the stone outpost was left undefended . When Stellin IX ascended to the throne, he formally abolished the camp there .

“Let me do it,” said Eriksson . He took over the wheel as the last parts of the voyage required him to be in control .

“Do you see it? Next to the waterway opposite the stone outpost is a depressed area . There’s a little waterway inside and we can enter along the depressed area . We’ll dock our ship there,” said Eriksson with one hand on the wheel and the other pointing forward for Claude to see .

Claude gave it some thought and said, “I can tell that the entrance to the waterway isn’t huge . I suppose we can lay the net down there . We can check back the day after when we get back . Perhaps we might be in for a huge surprise . “

After some consideration, Eriksson nodded .

Sailing

.  .

`The ship Old Sunny rent them was called Arrowfish, as in the fish that sped like an arrow and was agile as a fish in water . However, there were too many of those small fishing boats in Whitestag and n.o.body would care about their names . Even in the town personal property records, it was simply recorded as one single-sail fishing boat belonging to Sunny

There were three cabins on the boat and the boards covering them would have to be removed before entry . The two cabins at the front of the boat was large and small respectively . Within the larger one was a single-person wooden bed and it was there for the crew to take turns to rest as they fished through the night . The smaller cabin on the other hand was used for storage . Items like charcoal, firewood, bowls, plates and buckets could be found there . Sometimes the crew would just start cooking on the ship

The last cabin was the livewell . It was the largest of the three where fishes could be stored in water . There was a movable plank at the bottom of the ship that could be opened to let the lake water into the cabin . Any fish that were caught could be stored there . That way, even if reach fishing trip took up to two days and three nights, the ships on the ship wouldn’t die and they’d remain fresh until the trip ended

Lake Balinga was huge and it was said to be almost 50 kilometers in length and near ten kilometers in width . One end of it was connected to the sea and the other connected to Swamp Kemda . In other words, Lake Balinga was the intersection point between seawater and freshwater . However, given the flat and wide terrain, it became a lake near the deep waters of the ocean

That was also the reason the water in Lake Balinga was rather weird . A third of it, the part that was nearest to Swamp Kemda, had freshwater, while the third that connected to the sea had salt water . The third of the lake near Whitestag was a mix of the two, with the water tasting slightly salty

It was because of that unique environment that Lake Balinga produced unique fishing goods that would taste wonderful even when preserved dried . For example, the most of the dried longtail swordfish fished from Lake Balinga would be given to the Stellin royal family as tribute . There wasn’t an other option but to dry them out as longtail swordfish died three hours after being out of water

“Raise the salls! Arrowfish will soon depart!” shouted Eriksson with a serious look on his face as he held the wheel

Welikro undid the dock lines and Claude pulled onto the hemp rope tied to the pulley on the mast to unveil a worn down sail that had been patched up who knows how many times . Borkal on the other hand pushed against the jetty with the punt and moved the ship towards the center of the lake

Borkal stood at the front of the ship, stretched out the middle finger on his right hand and gave it a lick before stretching it out in the air . After making a slight twirl, he shouted to Eriksson, “There’s no wind! What’s the point of the sail?!”.

“There’s no harm is opening it up first . There will be some wind after we move further away from sh.o.r.e . ” Eriksson then pointed at Welikro and Claude . “You two, don’t slack off . Hurry and start rowing . At this rate, we won’t arrive by midnight . “.

Having no choice, Claude got two oars from the deck and started rowing with Welikro on both sides

After ten or so minutes of rowing, they were about a hundred meters away from the sh.o.r.e . It was then when a slight breeze could be felt across the lake . Eriksson said delightedly, “Alright, adjust the sails and pay attention to the direction of the wind . The two of you don’t have to row anymore . “.

After putting away his oar with Welikro, Claude sat down on the deck and rubbed his shoulders as he complained, “Darn, I’m worn out . “.

“You lack training . Look at Wero . He’s completely fine,” replied Eriksson

Borkal adjusted the sail and fixed it in position with a rope . He then asked, “Given our speed, how much time do we need to reach our destination?”.

Eriksson looked at the sail like he knew what he was doing to judge the wind speed . “Perhaps two or three hours . The wind isn’t strong enough so the sail isn’t providing enough push, so the ship won’t be able to sail quickly enough . “.

“Why must we dock at the outpost near the waterway over there? Can’t we just cross Lake Balinga from here all the way to the foot of the mountain? We can just dock wherever there . If the ship’s fast enough, we don’t even have to spend an hour,” complained Borkal

Eriksson smiled and shook his head . “Boa, you’re no fisherman nor sailor . Everyone who makes a living from Lake Balinga that the sh.o.r.e between the foot of the mountain of Egret and the sh.o.r.e of Lake Balinga is a swampy mess . There’s no way for a ship to dock . Look at all the aquatic plants and floating logs there . You’ll instantly sink halfway down if you set foot there and won’t be able to move

“So, even though that is the shortest way, there’s no way for us to dock . Instead, we’ll have to waste time sailing along the sh.o.r.e to reach the stone outpost to dock and that will take even more time . As there is hard rock and a small river over there, our boat can dock properly . ”.

Claude turned to Welikro and asked, “Wero, didn’t you go to Egret with your father during the past two years? Did you use this route as well?”.

Welikro proudly replied, “No, we didn’t . We didn’t even use a ship, because it was winter and the area between Lake Balinga and Swamp Kemda froze from the cold . The ice that formed is hard enough . MY father and I would use sledges to travel across the ice surface to react the foot of Egret . Since the swamp area is mostly covered by snow, it’s firm enough for us to start climbing the mountain there . “.

It was currently the end of the 5th month and the flowers of spring were in full bloom . The aquatic plants by the side of the lake growed prosperously, making the lake look completely different from its white, bare state during winter . There was no easy way to get ash.o.r.e, so they could only go to the rocky outpost to dock

However, sitting on the deck of the boat with nothing better to do was a little too boring . Eriksson was holding the wheel and he gave an idea . When he brought his net onto the ship, he also took two fishing poles . He said that they should have a fishing compet.i.tion as the ship sailed to see who could catch the most

As the ship didn’t stop during the course of fishing, it presented more challenging than usual . Borkal and Welikro grabbed one pole each and went to the tail of the boat . Eriksson stood behind them and announced the start of the match, giving a simple brief about whose fishing skills were better and antic.i.p.ating the roasted fish they would have for dinner

Claude on the other hand couldn’t be bothered to get up . He half-leaned against the side of the ship and looked up at the blue sky . He saw the white clouds floating above him, feeling nothing but warmth from the golden rays of sunlight that he basked in . The water in the distance glittered and small dots, probably other fishing boats, could be seen floating around . The surface of the lake in his vicinity seemed to be slightly wavy and the refreshing breeze blew all over . It was as if he was in a beautiful landscape painting

But not long after, Borkal and Welikro’s noise disrupted this rare period of tranquil relaxation time . The two fools had somehow managed to tangle their fishing lines together and were blaming one another for it

Eriksson said helplessly, “Claude, take the wheel for me . I will go undo those entangled strings . “.

Come to think of it, n.o.body on the ship was as capable as Eriksson . He had lived and breathed sailing since young . Claude had heard more often than once experienced sailors at the docks praising Eriksson for being far more capable than sailors who’ve been sailing for more than six years . The Altroni family had a worthy successor

Perhaps part of what the sailors said was to b.u.t.ter up to Captain Altroni, but even they wouldn’t say something that was completely without basis . If took Eriksson but a few minutes to untangle the fishing lines that Welikro and Borkal were unable to after much time and argument . After checking the hooks and lures before having the other two stand on each side of the boat so that they wouldn’t get into another argument

“I think we can just fix the wheel in place . Since the lake is so large, we only have to sail in one direction and there’s no need to constantly watch over it,” said Claude

Eriksson came back to Claude’s side and said with a laugh, “No, the most important part of a sailing ship is the wheel . It’s not only a matter of the course we’re taking . We also have to avoid reefs or collisions with other vessels . Even though we’re currently in Lake Balinga and there’s no reef here, there are still quite a lot of fishing boats . It’s best if two ships are separated by at least a hundred meters so as not to disturb each other’s fishing . Additionally, there would sometimes be undercurrents in the lake and many fishing boats would also have nets placed in those areas and pull them up from time to time to see if there’s any catch . We would have to pay attention to those wooden floats on the surface and avoid them . This is all the responsibility of the helmsman . “.

Claude nodded . “I see . I didn’t think that there was so much to the helm . I always thought that setting on the correct course was all there was . “.

“Haha, it’s nothing once you get used to it . ” Eriksson stuck his finger out to check for the wind direction . “Hold the wheel for me while I go adjust the lower sail . The wind is a little strong and we can increase the speed of the ship a little bit more . “.

The two of them took turns to manage the wheel and Claude used the opportunity to ask Eriksson to impart him with some of his sailing experience . Time pa.s.sed rather quickly and n.o.body felt boring during the trip at all . Borkal and Welikro on the other hand managed to yammer for two whole hours without being able to catch a single fish even though they used up the whole bucket of redbug fish bait Eriksson brought for them

In the distant sh.o.r.e, a run-down stone castle could be seen . They were almost at the stone outpost . It was said that centuries ago, pirates were all over the place and they frequently attacked coastal fishing villages . They plundered, killed, and committed all sorts of ills . Naturally, Whitestag wasn’t spared from pirate activity as well

As days went by, Whitestag formed their own militia and they build a small stone fortress at the entrance of the waterway . Initially, it was only used to alert the rest through the use of a smoke signal so that the folk of Whitestag could hide away in time . Later on, the stone fortress came to be known as the stone outpost and that name has stuck on ever since

Later, people realized that the pirate ships would lose their mobility and agility after entering the long, narrow waterway . So, they began to set traps and ambushed the pirate ships, using catapults and fire arrows to take care of all the pirates that came to raid them and obtaining a huge haul

Ever since then, the stone outpost had become a military camp . When Stellin IX fired the first shot that kicked off the kingdom’s restoration in Whitestag, one of the firearms brigade of the baron ruling over the town was stationed at the stone outpost . However, their reinforcement came a little too late . by the time they arrive, Stellin IX had already conquered Whitestag and the landed baron had become a prisoner

Later, the soldiers of that brigade accepted Stellin IX’s recruitment offer and became the first formal combat unit under him . From then on, the military camp at the stone outpost was left undefended . When Stellin IX ascended to the throne, he formally abolished the camp there

“Let me do it,” said Eriksson . He took over the wheel as the last parts of the voyage required him to be in control

“Do you see it? Next to the waterway opposite the stone outpost is a depressed area . There’s a little waterway inside and we can enter along the depressed area . We’ll dock our ship there,” said Eriksson with one hand on the wheel and the other pointing forward for Claude to see

Claude gave it some thought and said, “I can tell that the entrance to the waterway isn’t huge . I suppose we can lay the net down there . We can check back the day after when we get back . Perhaps we might be in for a huge surprise . “.

After some consideration, Eriksson nodded

———-

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