Siren – Second Part
This wasn’t a ship with sails, but a golem ship.
A golem ship… Truly the kind of naval vessel you would find in a fantasy world.
By appearance, it looked similar to a paddle steamer.
Instead of an internal combustion engine, it used a golem to drive the paddle wheel.
Paddle golems themselves used the mana of the spellcasters as energy, so this ship also had several magicians on board to serve as mana suppliers.
By nature, golem engine ships weren’t suitable for long distance fishing or long voyages, but it looked like people usually use them for sailing across shorter distances.
Since the ships didn’t have masts and those other stuffs, the deck felt quite spacious.
Right in the middle of that wide deck, Harn was unveiling his beautiful voice, his pride and joy.
“Aaah, beautiful goddess Kagura. Thou tamed the sacred white beast and sliced apart the ferocious demon of the underworld. And in the end, light filled the land, and hope was returned to the people…”
Apparently, the song that he was singing while accompanying himself with music was based on this world’s mythology.
I can’t deny that it’s quite a clichéd story, but his voice was undeniably beautiful.
He’s completely different from the frivolous man that he was, just moments ago.
The listeners around him were enraptured by his singing, their faces flushed.
The story finally passed the climax, and it ended with goddess Kagura returning to heaven.
And just as it ended, the deck exploded in cheers and applause.
Everyone was throwing offerings non-stop into the donation box put in front of Harn…
“How is it? Quite good, don’t you think?”
Waiting until the listeners scattered, Harn brought the box full of tips to where I was, watching him a little distance away, and showed it to me.
Mostly small and medium copper coins, but considering how many there were, it’s quite the haul.
“Yes, your singing was lovely… Harn, do you always work on passenger ships like this?”
“Ah, naah… this singing is more like a side job kind of thing. My real occupation is an adventurer of the Adventurer’s Association.”
“…Wait, so you were an adventurer. Isn’t it quite rare for a bard to be an adventurer?”
“Mm, not exactly. Since a bard travels from town to town, they work together well with the adventurer’s association, which has branch offices in every town… And you need some amount of fighting ability if you’re going to travel alone anyway.”
“I seeeee… So this time, you’re here on this ship because of a job or something similar?”
“Mmmm… Well… Sort of…… Don’t spread this around, ok? Actually…”
Looks like Harn wasn’t someone with very tight lips.
Well, it’s not like I know if he’s obligated to keep the adventurer’s association’s secrets or not.
According to that blabbermouth Harn, recently, ships passing through this area have been constantly getting stranded.
Luckily, no one died and there were only injured people, but according to the results of investigating the damage…
A lot of people mentioned hearing a strange song before the ship got stranded in their testimonies.
Judging from that, it’s likely that the cause of the strandings was some sort of singing aquatic monster, like a merrow1 or siren. And from that conclusion, the association decided to make a request to a bard who can neutralize hypnotic songs, like Harn.
“If that’s true, shouldn’t they stop sending ships out?”
“They can’t do that. Shuren island is a large supplier of magic crystals. Even if trade between the island and the mainland ceases for just 3 days, there’ll be a much too large impact on the islanders and the town of Jiza…”
“Then maybe change the route?”
“They don’t even know where in the route the incidents happened in the first place. One of my duties this time is to find that out.”
“…I see. The request you received wasn’t to defeat the aquatic monsters.”
“…There’s no way I can manage to do that alone.”
I see, no wonder.
“So, what do those merrows or sirens thingy look like?”
“Mmm… Well, first off, both of them are beautiful women with the lower body of a fish. The difference is that merrows manipulate the weather to sink ships, while sirens use their songs to manipulate the sailors to have the ship run aground… so this time, it’s highly likely that sirens were the culprits.”
Hmph. As someone who has the lower body of a spider, I suppose this was where I should show my sympathy… But leaving that aside.
“Lower half of a fish… You mean, like that?”
Around 50 meters ahead and starboard of the ship, a single human floated on the ocean with the lower body half submerged.
Her skin was tinted blue, but she certainly looked like an extremely beautiful woman.
Her long blue hair swayed along with the waves, and I could see something like fins where a normal person’s ears would be.
And once in awhile, *splash*, a large fish tail slapped the water surface.
“Yeah, yeah, exactly like… Whaaaaaaaa?!”
Looks like that was a bulls-eye.
Flustered, Harn took out his harp.
“Ummm, n-neutralization song…”
Harn began to play his harp even while panicking, but at almost the same time, the water monster began to sing with a voice like the sound of a glass harp.
As the aquatic monster’s song echoed throughout the sea, the song’s magic began to force the ship to deviate from its course.
Looked like it’s stronger than Harn’s neutralization song.
“Grrr… That’s quite some power there, siren, but how about this?!”
Harn put more strength into his performance… Beads of sweat formed, crowding his forehead.
And his effort wasn’t in vain. The ship slowly turned back to the right course…
“Hah, haha… How about it, don’t underestimate the power of a bard’s spellsong…”
“Wow, you really are amazing!”
“Of course, right? Right?”
“…There’s more of them now, you know?”
Adding to the first siren, another five showed their upper bodies above the water and joined the fray.
A solo performance turned into a concert.
“Waaaarghhhh! Like hell I can neutralize this!!”
“Ahh… Yeah, this really is too much.”
The moment the sirens’ songs harmonized, I could feel the magic inside their singing increased by more than an order of magnitude.
The ship was getting further and further away from its planned course.
Just one person’s ability was certainly not enough to repel their singing.
… If that person was a human, that is.
“Hey, what’s that voice?”
“Sounds beautiful… but sad, somehow.”
“…Hey, look! Over there!”
“They’re sirens! Monsters leading ships astray!”
Whoops, this is bad.
Looked like the other passengers have also discovered them.
The deck began to get crowded, chaotic.
“Hey, at this rate… we’re going to get shipwrecked…”
“So the recent frequent strandings were because of sirens?!”
“H-Hey, sailors! Do something!!”
“We might still make it if we escape on the boats now…”
“There aren’t enough boats for that… or rather, will that song let us go even if we get on the boats?!”
Yeaaah, at this rate, everyone’s going to panic, and worst case scenario, someone might even try to jump off the ship…
No other choice.
“Harn, please stop playing for a bit.”
“W-What silliness are you spouting, miss? … The ship is already going way off track as it is!”
“I have something I want to try. It’ll probably work.”
“… Tch, if nothing changes, at this rate we’re going to lose anyway… Got it, I don’t know what you’re going to do… but try it.”
“Mmm. Right, then…”
*swish*. I took the aforementioned shamisen out of the bag.
I might not have the tortoiseshell, but otherwise, the shamisen was made with all the best rare materials, and I even enchanted it with magic… If I were to give it a name, it would be a ‘Magical Shamisen’.
“H-Hey… That instrument… What the hell is it? I’ve never seen such a shape before… but more importantly, I don’t know if it’s magic or demonic power or something, but it’s giving off some crazy vibe… Just what was it made of?”
“Mmm… Nothing special. And it’s still incomplete, anyway. The body was made from Sword Wood, Stampede Beasts’ fangs, and Firefoxes’ skins… The string is Arachne Silk, I guess.”
“… That’s plenty special already. With all that rare materials, no wonder it’s giving off that devillish aura.”
Streams of sweat ran down from Harn’s forehead. Maybe he’s nervous due to the shamisen’s aura.
“So, are you going to play a neutralization song on that?”
“No… As you would expect, I’m not so omnipotent as to have learned any of the bard’s skills.”
“Then, what are you going to do…?”
“Since sirens themselves sing, I think they should be really sensitive to songs and music, right?”
“Huh? Yeah… Well… From what I’ve heard, there have been cases where they got attracted to a normal song, played without using skills, and approached the performer… At least, such reports exist.”
Then this might work.
I didn’t have any skill to sing or perform spellsongs, but I do have [Charm].
Combine this with the music and the singing…
The sound of the shamisen, which has pretty much transformed into a cursed magical tool already, cut through the ocean waves to reach the sirens.
“In the midst of the o~cean, flowers of camellia~a… Bloom red, unflinching from the waves…” *prrreng*
I sang a song about a fisherman who lost his life at sea, and his sons who followed his footsteps…
This song, Flower Ship, is one of my favourites.
I sang with the best vibrato voice I can, pouring all of my soul into it.
In my opinion, while there can be any number of good songs throughout the whole world, nothing can beat the style of enka in terms of conveying emotions within a song.
Especially when the songs are about loneliness, sadness, sorrow, honor, human love, and the likes.
“Cutting through the wa~ves… Braving through the storms…” *prrengpeng*
Before I knew it, the sirens have quieted down.
Even though they got closer to the ship, they didn’t seem to plan on singing the hypnotic song again any time soon.
“Once again, heading for the sea~… Flower ship of the so~ul…”
With the vibrato coming to a climax, I let myself be carried by the flow and finished the song… And then, after a delayed moment, a rain of applauses fell upon me.
The passengers, who were just moments ago panicking, applauded with tears streaming down their cheeks.
And they’re not the only ones moved. The sirens were crying too.
Let’s see… you’re saying that it’s the first time you’ve heard such a heartrendingly sad song?
*Ptryulli. Krkrkrrrrurr… Kyurrrli.*
“Nyahahah, you flatter me. I see, you girls also have it quite rough… That’s why you called the ships?”
“Yeah, in the end it just led to ships getting stranded. I’ll need you to stop doing that, learn from your mistakes.”
“Uh… Excuse me?”
“Mmm, what’s up, Harn?”
“… Are you conversing with the sirens?”
I just talked to them without thinking much about it, but that was because I’m also a monster, specifically an Arachne… Normal people shouldn’t be able to understand their speech.
“Y-Yeah, magic! I have an enchanted ring that allows me to talk with monsters!”
I raised my hand and showed him the silver ring on my middle finger.
In actuality, the ring was enchanted with the spell [Light, cleanse my body].
“Ah, yeah… I see. So what did they say?”
“Mm. Looks like they weren’t intending on getting the ships stranded.”
“Hahhhh? No way they weren’t…”
“In fact, they were looking for help. They used to live in the Dead Ocean region, but then the Kaiser Archelon attacked their nest and chased them out. Since then, whenever they spotted a ship with some powerful-looking human on it, they would use their songs to guide the ships towards their nest, but it seems like the path would cut through a reefy region full of rocks…”
“And so, the end result was that the ships got stranded, is it?”
“Aaaah… But… If that’s true… Then probably even S-rank adventurers wouldn’t be able to deal with it, yeah? That monstrous Kaiser Archelon can reach over 20 meters in length. It’s already difficult enough even if we fight it on land, but this time the battlefield is the ocean.”
“Yes, which is why I’ll try to convince the sirens to move to another ocean area.”
“Aaah… No other choice, I guess… Sorry about this, can I request you to handle the problem instead?”
“Leave it to me… In return, can you ask the captain to give me one of the small boats on this ship?”
“Yeah, you’ll need a mean of transportation for guiding the sirens too… Got it, I’ll go ask.”
Seemed like the captain was quite averse to the idea of sending a girl alone off on a boat, but after I convinced him by showing how obedient the sirens are to me (to be precise, by having them perform something like a dolphin performance), I finally acquired the boat.
“Listen, don’t try to do anything over your ability, got it? Return to the ship immediately after you finished guiding the sirens.”
“Yes, don’t worry. I’m not going to do anything over my ability.”
“Alright… I’m leaving this to you, Shiori.”
As the sailors and passengers sent me off with grim faces, the boat carried me away from the ship together with the sirens.
To those people, I probably looked like a brave girl sacrificing herself to save the passengers, without any fear for her own life.
But they got it completely wrong.
Just like I promised Harn, I totally did not have any intention to overreach myself.
I simply coincidentally encountered the Kaiser Archelon while guiding the sirens, then luckily managed to defeat it, acquired its materials, the Kaiser Tortoiseshell, and safely returned to the ship after about an hour.
Yup, 100% honest, no lies.
… I did feel a bit guilty when the sailors hugged me with tears in their eyes when I got back, though.
Ah, by the way, after that, when I used the Kaiser Archelon’s meat in a collagen hotpot and ate it, I also got skills like [Underwater Movement I], [Water Cannon], [Expanded Lungs II], [Intimidate Aquatic Creatures], [Increased Physical Defense – Large], and some others.
Mr. Turtle was truly very generous. The end.
The whole shell of the Kaiser Archelon was indeed too large to carry along even while using the magical bag, so after Shiori took the necessary parts, she asked the sirens to keep the remains for her.
Also, the lyrics sung to the sirens in this chapter does not actually exist. Though I did use a real song as the model… or to be more precise, I mimicked the atmosphere of the song.
As usual, below are stats of Shiori’s products:
Shamisen [Songdancer – Enhanced]
Type: Shamisen (Medium Neck)
Attack Power 0
Basic Stats Intelligence +1
Basic Stats Charm +1
Mental Status Effects Resistance +30%
Damage Received from Sound Attacks Reduced by 50%
Bonus to Musical Performances +50%
Bonus to Singing +30%
Bonus to Chanting (Chanting Failure Rate -50%)
When performing, the performer’s music and singing can reach any location within 1 kilometer.
Kaiser Archelon Pick
Attack Power 69
Critical Rate +30%
Bonus to Performances with Stringed Instruments +30%
1. Merrows are mermaid/mermen in Irish folklore.