A Time Traveller's Guide To Feudal Japan - LightNovelsOnl.com
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They arrived in Toyokawa by midday. Along the way Gengyo had been continually pestered, with all of them wis.h.i.+ng to know what they were here for, but he did not break, not until they reached the port.
"We're here to buy a s.h.i.+p."
They were gobsmacked. This was the last thing they had expected. A s.h.i.+p? What was the utility in a s.h.i.+p? They did not need to cross vast stretches of water to reach their enemy. They merely needed to form an army and charge at his gates.
"Oh, I thought you'd have something to say."
He teased them as they stood there with their mouths wide open, unable to speak a single word. Jikouji made a choking sound as he attempted to force out some words of reb.u.t.tal.
Was all he managed.
"No, my dear Jikouji. I would not joke about such a thing."
He a.s.sured him, admiring the various s.h.i.+ps that were docked in the port. He had his heart set on securing one of the single-masted small trading vessels that clung to the coast around j.a.pan.
It was odd, observing the differences between European vessels and the j.a.panese ones.
The European s.h.i.+ps were, in one word, superior. They boasted hundreds of cannons, as well as multiple masts that allowed them to traverse the aggressive ocean. It was rare to see a j.a.panese s.h.i.+p that boasted cannons. They preferred lightweight, oar driven boats for their naval purposes, boats that specialized in firing at the enemy from a distance, to thin their numbers, before boarding them to finish them off.
Whereas the European s.h.i.+ps would simply fire their cannons and tear the enemy s.h.i.+p to pieces. If the two navies were ever to go to war with one another, it was obvious who would win.
But that was merely information he kept inside for future occasions, as he knew it would be necessary. For now, he simply wandered along the sh.o.r.eline wordlessly, as the men burst out into chaos behind him.
"A s.h.i.+p… He said a s.h.i.+p?"
Rokkaku asked in disbelief.
"I think he did…"
Kitajo a.s.sured him with a nod, though he was far from understanding himself.
"Mm… This one appears to be in rather good condition."
It was hopelessly dwarfed by the European trading vessel beside it, and it was completely defenceless in comparison. But it would serve their purpose.
He proceeded down the jetty, with his men following behind him. A wooden ramp had been set up from the side of the s.h.i.+p, onto the jetty, so that they might disembark easily. And now he attempted to ascend that ramp, so he might see if any of the crew were still around.
There was no one in sight upon the upper deck.
"Oi! What do you think you're doing?"
A man called out aggressively, from the other side of the port, seeing Gengyo stepping onto the ramp of his s.h.i.+p.
Gengyo a.s.sumed that he must have some connection to the boat, else he would not have reacted as such. And so he responded to him.
"I am looking for this s.h.i.+p's captain, do you know of him?"
He called out over to him.
"Might be that I do. Who's asking?"
The man came closer, sparing the rest of men an aggressive glance, as they crowded up the jetty and he had to force himself through.
"Miura. I am looking to buy this s.h.i.+p of yours, sir."
The man took one look at him and snorted.
"Tsch, p.i.s.s off lad. You don't have a chance in h.e.l.l of affording this."
Togas.h.i.+ twisted his face aggressively to stare at the man, as a gangster might. The others adopted a similarly intimidating stance. They had no idea what their boss intended to do with this s.h.i.+p, but they were not about to allow insults toward him to slide.
"Hm… How much would you be asking that I pay?"
He looked uncomfortable being surrounded by so many tough-looking men. With the scars that they held on their faces and on their arms, they were either seasoned warriors or members of a rather shady organisation.
"…I'm not looking to sell it."
He said honestly.
Gengyo repeated, as Morohira took a step closer, as though to admire the captain's eyes better. Or perhaps not, given the way his face was laced with anger.
He said, deliberately naming an outlandish price, in hopes of getting these people away from him.
"Mm. 1000 gold."
The man looked surprised. In lowering it to 1000 gold, he was stating that he at least had that much. It was more than the s.h.i.+p was worth, perhaps double the amount he paid for it.
The man replied, trying to get rid of him, but still pretending to be in a negotiating position.
Came Gengyo's reponse.
The man still raised it higher, believing that to be out of his reach.
The young master said with a wide smile, as though the business was concluded. He stepped down from the ramp to admire his s.h.i.+p once more.
"A fine vessel, isn't she?"
The man barely processed what he said. He was still stuck on the fact that this little welp had just agreed to buy his boat for 1300. Whilst the was a hefty sum, and he had made an unimaginable, he was still reluctant to part with it. He needed a s.h.i.+p in order to get home.
"Have you already unloaded your merchandise?"
The young man asked, as he set 13 coin pouches down in front of him, on the jetty.
The man simply stared at him, before peering inside one of the coin pouches to see if this was real.
'By the G.o.ds…'
He muttered. This was the last thing he had expected would happen to him when he arrived in Toyokawa… In fact, he did not recall witnessing a single instance like it. Nor had he even heard about such a thing. It was common, of course, for s.h.i.+ps to trade hands. But one would always pay less for it than the initial cost for the building had been.
Why had the lad not simply gone to a s.h.i.+pwright and had a boat built from scratch? It would have been far cheaper, and he would have a better quality s.h.i.+p. But when he looked into the lad's eyes as he came closer, they did not appear to be the eyes of someone dim-witted. In fact, quite the opposite of that. They were the eyes of someone dangerous.
"…It's all unloaded."
He muttered quietly. He and his crew would have to spend the next few days in the inn. But their profit was still enormous, and he would get a new s.h.i.+p out of it.
"Good, thank you for your business, sir. Does this vessel have a name?"
"It's yours… You'd better give it a name."
As he scooped up the pouches of coin, and felt the weight of them in his arms, he began to warm to this transaction a little more. The benefits far outweighed the inconveniences, and he began to smile.
"Mm… I think you might be right. Well, let's go check it out shall we fellas?"
The men nodded, not willing to show any defiance in front of a stranger, though they seriously doubted the utility of such a transaction.
The merchant bowed towards them as he left, not wis.h.i.+ng to do anything that could upset them. He glanced around hastily, to make sure that no one was looking his way, and then he began to stash the coin pouches into his kimono.
When he walked off the jetty, he did so with a good deal more authority than he had when he'd first walked on it. Acting as though he had not just been forced into a deal against his will, but was instead a very rich man.
'You've got to think of the positives, do you not?'
He told himself. In the deal, he'd sold his dignity, and his s.h.i.+p. But for 1300 gold? It was most certainly worth it.
Now that they were on the s.h.i.+p, and no one was close enough to hear what they had to say, the men really let loose.
"Okay lad… Maybe it's time to tell us what the f.u.c.k just happened?"
Jikouji began, as the rest nodded their heads in agreement. They had worked hard for that coin, and held it in good confidence that the boy would spend it wisely. And then, right before their very eyes, they had seen him blow more than half of it onto a worn down s.h.i.+p.
He stroke his chin in thought, and then raised his finger, as though he'd just had a sudden revelation.
"We bought a s.h.i.+p."
That one action alone made them rather want to tear him apart, so after he allowed himself a small laugh, he gave them a more suitable explanation.
"Alright fellas, calm down. I'll tell you the plan."
It required a few deep breaths, but eventually, they quietened.
He walked around the deck, feeling the odd swaying sensation as the tide rocked the boat from side to side, and he placed his hand upon the mast.
"A few days ago, we caused a good amount of chaos did we not? Did it bother you doing that?"
He questioned, to see if anyone had grown cold feet, and felt their old morals kick in, telling them that stealing was wrong.
"Ha? Bother me? I f.u.c.king enjoyed it lad!"
Morohira bellowed, followed by a loud laugh.
"It was the same for me, Miura. I tend to miss stealing things."
Ii put in.
"It didn't bother me in the least."
Rokkaku rea.s.sured him.
"Good. And, we made a good amount of money from that didn't we?"
Those were probably the wrong words to choose, as it incited them to remember that all the money that they had earned had been spent on an old s.h.i.+p.
Jikouji said through gritted teeth. He prayed, for the boy's sake, that this purchase held some significant meaning, else he feared that he would have to throw him overboard.
"So why do we not steal some more?"
"That's what I thought we would be doing, until you bought a floating bit of wood…"
"Oh, but we will. With this little s.h.i.+p of ours, we will be able to rob far more efficiently than we ever would by simply targeting individuals."
They leaned in expectantly despite themselves, as Gengyo pointed to the vessels on either side of them.
"You mean… We'll rob people at sea..?"
Kitajo said, with a frown creasing his forehead as he struggled to understand.
"Exactly! These European s.h.i.+ps are full of goods. Goods that will sell no matter where we go. As are the j.a.panese ones - we won't discriminate."
Jikouji breathed out, considering it.
"It could work… But it will be difficult to pull off."
"Indeed. That is why we're going to give this little boat a few alterations. Let us raise the anchor, and set sail for our first destination."
They stared at him blankly. None of them had the slightest clue when it came to sailing. In truth, neither did he. He had no practical experience at all, but the concept was not overly complicated, so he did not allow that to him back.
They brought their horses below deck, before he unfastened the rope that tied them to the jetty, and brought the ramp inwards, and then, after a good amount of struggling, he managed to turn the sail so that it caught the wind. They watched him operate, attempting to remember his movements. And then, they drifted out to sea.