My name is Bron.
I’m a beastkin who works hard with whatever job’s given to me.
I look like a boy?
I’m already married so please treat me like an adult.
I’m currently in Shashaato City.
Shashaato City has a port which means it is by the sea. The smell of the sea tickles my nose.
However, it is soon overpowered by the aroma of curry.
This is Shashaato City.
My job in this city was to greet visitors but it seems that they have yet to come.
It seems that visitors that come via the sea route have no perfect schedule.
If they come by ship, you should put a margin of ten days before and after their estimated date of arrival.
Does that mean that I have to wait here until the ship arrives?
That’s so troublesome.
The visitors won’t call me when they’ve arrived.
What should I do?
Let’s just hire adventurers for this task.
I’ll have them watch the harbor and check the names of the ships that come into port.
It costs money but it’s not much considering that it will allow me to move freely.
「No, rather than hiring adventurers, shouldn’t it be better if you ask us?」
I was about to go to the adventurers guild when Miyo-san, who was waiting for me, told me so.
Miyo-san is the chief of staff of the governor of Shashaato City.
I’m sure she’ll be able to get the information with regards to the ship’s arrival.
However, I wouldn’t want to ask Miyo-san.
「Actually, there’s something I would like to ask you.」
I’m in trouble.
「No no, I just want you to participate in a little event that’s going to take place in this city desu.」
A little event?
「Yeah. It’s a small boat race desu. A boat will need eight participants to row but there’s a certain team that lost 1 of its members. I would like you to join them as substitute desu.」
But I’ve never rowed a boat before, is that okay?
「If the rowers are not exactly 8, they won’t be allowed to participate.」
What about teamwork?
「What’s important is to participate. You don’t need to worry about performance.」
Are you sure it’s okay?
Then, when will this even be held?
「If it wasn’t right now, I wouldn’t ask you to substitute.」
I moved to the event venue with Miyo-san.
It was full of onlookers.
And there were lots of stalls for the onlookers.
I can smell a lot of delicious things.
「If you are hungry, I’ll buy you some and bring it to you.」
I’m glad to hear that.
「Here’s your team desu. This team is made up of boys of fishermen who live in Shashaato City. The name of this team is “Fishermans”.」
Miyo took me to the boat and I greeted the team.
「Finally, a substitute. Thank you.」
Miyo-san said they were boys of fishermen but all of them looked like veteran fishermen in their mid-twenties.
「Ahahaha. Our fathers are still active so we are still considered as “boys”.」
「If I could have my own ship, things will be different.」
「Perhaps there’s also the fact that we’re not married yet.」
「Let’s show off in this competition and after that, I’ll tell her….」
「By the way, the reason you were called as a substitute is because of a certain traitor that suddenly got married.」
「It was last night. I won’t forgive him.」
No, bless him.
Also, I’m married too.
「Huh! Miyo-san, why did you bring someone who’s married?」
「I couldn’t find any other substitute for your team. Or do you want to forfeit for not having enough members?」
「Also, instead of making enemies out of married people, wouldn’t it be more beneficial to get close to them and ask them to introduce you to their wives’ friends?」
「Don’t tell us the truth!….but we can’t afford not to participate. Nice to meet you.」
N-nice to meet you too.
I was wondering why Miyo-san asked me. It was because it’s this kind of team.
After all that, it was time for the competition to begin.
We were in a long, narrow boat with no sails.
The eight of us got into the boat in a row and rowed with oars on both hands….
This is something that requires teamwork, right?
Is it really okay for me to substitute?
Also, isn’t traveling on a boat means you’re supposed to go forward?
The direction we are rowing is backward….who decides the course then?
However, the fact that I can see the backs of my seven teammates means that I’m the leader, right?
Isn’t this the most dangerous position?
My teammates looked back and smiled at me when I was panicking a little.
It was a joke after all.
I heard that each boat will be boarded by a boatman who will be the course setter.
In other words, a team consists of eight rowers and a boatman.
The boatman coming on board is a signal to start the competition.
I wonder where the boatmen would come from but they appeared from the surface of the sea near the boats.
I see. They even bothered the seakins to take part in this race as boatmen.
However, no one would dare question the ability of the seakins when it comes to the sea.
They are literally living in the sea after all.
They wouldn’t be able to find anyone who’s more reliable.
While I was thinking of that, the seakins jumped out of the water one after another and boarded the boats.
The one who boarded our boat is a slender lizardman.
Yeah, he doesn’t seem to weigh that much.
Please take care of us in this race.
He nodded and pointed his finger to the path.
If you can’t talk, how can we follow your command?
The boat began to move leaving me puzzled.
Is this okay?
Are we really going to row like this?
No, I’ve heard that the competition starts as soon as the boatman gets on board.
Y-yeah, no matter what happens, I don’t care anymore.
I rowed my oars with my teammates on my front.
The competition consists of moving towards the goal after passing through all the buoys installed on the sea.
The buoys are red, black, and white and the goal is the starting point.
In other words, you have to pass through three checkpoints and then, return to the starting point.
However, ignoring the fact that the boat travels backward, I can’t see the floats.
I just have to trust the boatman’s instructions and keep going.
And of course, this is a competition so there are a good number of boats doing the same thing.
The ones at the most prominent places are….
The “Money World” team which is made up of young entrepreneurs of Shashaato City.
The “Ifrus Curry” team which consists of teachers and students from Ifrus School.
The “Slow Life” team which consists of young men from villages near Shashaato City.
The “Prada’s Party” team which is a team from Village Five.
It says “Prada’s Party” but why is Prada not on board?
Oh, there are boats bumping into each other and capsizing.
Since they were going through the same checkpoint, that’s a possibility.
It seems that the crew of the capsized boat is being helped by a seakin rescue team.
It looks like they have secured a certain level of safety.
I felt a little relieved.
But then, a side wave hit our boat.
Yeah, this is a thin boat.
No matter how you think of it, this is supposed to be used in rivers and ponds.
It’s too narrow to withstand the rough waves of the sea.
We will definitely capsize.
See, the boat traveling alongside us capsized.
It might be our turn next.
While I was thinking of that, a teammate called out to me.
「Bron-kun, the worst thing you can do on the sea is to be timid!」
「If you think like that, any boat will sink!」
「If you don’t want to sink, be confident!」
「Also, this may be a piece of superfluous information but, we can’t swim.」
Aren’t you boys of fishermen?
I guess you were treated as boys because you can’t swim!
「Don’t say that! The sea is scary you know!」
「Scary, yeah, scary!」
「I wonder why there’s the sea? Why can’t all be land?」
The future of the fishermen in Shashaato City seems bleak.
However, I also feel like them, I don’t want the boat to sink so we rowed as hard as we could.
We took the 9th place.
There were 33 teams that participated so I guess placing in the upper half is okay.
No, I’m even thankful that we were able to finish the race.
It was all thanks to our boatman.
I hate to admit it though.
I wonder why he didn’t even say a single word.
I guess he doesn’t trust us that much because we just met today.
「Bron-kun, thank you for your hard work. After this, we will be having a reflection meeting and we will be happy if you can participate.」
「It’s really a banquet and we only want to call it a reflection meeting.」
「Don’t call it a banquet. This is an opportunity for us fishermen to unite against the companies.」
「Hahaha. Don’t say it like that. I’m not even hostile to those companies.」
「I’m glad it ended without us being injured. That’s something to celebrate. The participants will be us, our families, and our friends.」
「Good. Ah, by the way, there’s a message from Miyo-san. She said that the ship you’re waiting for is already here. However, since the number of ships entering the port is limited, the ship will only be able to port after two days.」
You knew this information and hid it from me.
What a waste of time….
I got sunburn for nothing.
Maa, it was fun in its own way.
Incidentally, the winning team of the competition was “ Ganbare* Joro” which consists of traveling merchants.
TN: I’m not sure if it’s “Goodluck” because of the competition or “Hang in there” because their group is about to fail their mission due to constantly decreasing members so I left it as ganbare.
The way they operate their boat is superb.
I’d like to learn from them.