After dinner, we welcomed Ashley’s late arrival. Realizing that Ashley and I had already known each other, Sharle started acting way different than her usual self. Was she perhaps drunk already on the wine? Or, perhaps she was just relieved to be around her only relative, Ashley? She was already sleeping with Ashley’s lap as her pillow right now.
“I was informed at the headquarters about the subjugation of the Wolf Fang Labyrinth. You really did all that alone?”
We had already moved to the guest room by now. Ashley sat on the sofa while stroking her sister’s sleeping hair. I sat opposite of her, sipping on the freshly brewed tea.
“The labyrinth master was strong, but it seemed that it had gone insane at some point in time. Do the labyrinth masters take their position willingly?”
“I’ve heard before that the lords of Labyrinths tend to be magic beasts, and it’s widely known that they’re highly intelligent. But I’ve never heard of one that went crazy. Perhaps it inflicted itself with a skill like Berserk, or something similar.”
“So, there is such a skill… Ah, enough talk about the labyrinth. Tell me more about the pirates.”
“Schwatz… Are you really going to join the subjugation? Roaming the seas is much different than on land, and don’t tell me you’re going to do it alone?”
“I’ll help you, as I came here to do. However… I won’t be on the same ship as yours. I’ll prepare my own.”
“No matter what I say, I guess you’ll still go for it anyway…”
“That’s how it is.”
“… The first team will depart tomorrow morning. Sharle and I will depart with the second team five days from now. That’s all I can tell you for now.”
“That’s more than enough. I’ll leave alongside the first team.”
With our talk finished, I left the mansion for my inn. Ashley told me to stay the night, but she had her hands full with Sharle-san already, so I declined.
The next morning, I started my preparations to follow the first team. I walked along the beach early to find an obscured spot from sight, then opened up the TSS once I found one. I scrolled through my inventory until I found the item I needed. I opened the supply bow and took out the item inside.
I tossed a 1m long white cylinder into the water. It opened up and expanded with the sound of air being injected before it turned into a boat in no time. This orange boat was actually a four-seater lifeboat with a motor that could transverse water at low speeds for emergencies. First off, I climbed into it and started the motor before steering it to head offshore.
Since it’s designed for emergencies, it was slow and noisy. But I already made sure that there were no fishing boats around here. I accessed the TSS again, this time, to the dock menu. One of the largest DLCs in VMB during its long tenure was specialized around naval battles rather than ground ones. The naval battles themselves were not limited to battles on sea, but rather raiding the opponent’s land base from the sea. Players needed ships for that, and not only one or two.
VMB might not have an actual battle tank for ground combat, so they allowed players to own various kinds of ships, including battleships, to make up for it. The only exception was the aircraft carrier as it’d give players air superiority. Aside from the free ships made available on missions and the likes, VMB put great restrictions on players who intended to buy ships individually.
First of all, the CP costs were horrible. At the same time, repair and fuel were high as well. Having one sunken would probably make the owner go into bankruptcy. On top of that, submarines were dirt cheap in comparison. Most players purchased the submarines with the intention to sink the pricey ships. In the past, I’d seen how these expensive ships were relentlessly hunted down in competitive matches.
As such, players started to equip their ships with anti-submarine depth charges. But in the end, the supposedly great naval battles turned out like those in history, and was a very deep money sink. Why were battleships in such an unfavorable state? It was because of its capability of extreme range bombardment, and the fact that the developers hated how snipers would just camp on the ship’s bow.
For the opposing team who didn’t know about the attack in advance, winning the fight would be like climbing an insurmountable mountain. Acts that broke the game. Not only the player base hated ,the developers also shared the same feelings.
After pressing the confirmation button on the screen, a large swathe of particles appeared on the sea. They converged and formed a U-Boat VII. With the total length of 67 meters and the width around 6 meters, the U-Boat was the common term used by the German navy for submarines. This type VII was one that saw action in WW2. The VMB version was armed with four torpedo tubes on its bow, and a 88mm cannon mounted on the command tower at the hull’s center.
Historically, the submarine was armed with far more weapons, but VMB restricted all the ships to be equipped with only two types of weapons. There were several combinations to make, one of them being a submarine with a ballistic missile that could only be used once against the opposing players.
Moving the lifeboat to the submarine, I climbed to the top of the control tower protruding from the hull. I opened its hatch and entered before going through another hatch that led into the command post as it was dubbed by players. Once inside, players could link the control to the TSS and allow them to steer the ship easily, even from outside the ship, as long as they kept close to it. I checked the UI and confirmed control.
First of all, I needed to have the U-Boat submerged to hide its presence. By the way, the lifeboat I abandoned would just turn into light and return to my inventory once I got too far away.
As long as the submarine remained submerged, it’ll keep consuming the battery meter at regular intervals. So, I couldn’t stay submerged as I had to recharge by going back to the surface. Even so, the time required to fully charge the battery was shorter than the time it took to consume it.
I decided to stop the U-Boat after some time to check its interior. I’d seen it before in VMB, but I still felt it was important to check the place I’d probably spend the next two weeks or so in.
The living quarters was right next to the command post, and I confirmed a kitchen and toilet. I wasn’t able to enter the torpedo room and the engine room, which was the same in-game. I could use one of the living quarters as a storage room, I thought to myself.
I let the submarine surface slightly, and entered periscope mode. It used my standing position as the base point, and the periscope would also turn if I swiped the UI window around to show my surroundings. There was no problem with this mode. I returned to steering mode, resurfaced and used the lifeboat to return to Amar.
After this, I’ll head to the Marida Company’s ship to inform them of my departure, and to make preparations. I should be able to find what I need there I thought as I steered toward the shore.