Looking at where Sevis had pointed, there was an old ship that looked like it would encounter a storm and be stranded right away. It was a ship that seemed to have been around for at least 20 years. On the ship, sailors with rough facial features, who looked like they would be angry if you just looked at them, were chatting with pipes in their mouths or while mending the fishnets.
‘Do I have to be on the same boat with them for a few days? It’s a little scary.’
While Sylvia was slightly frightened, Sevis took her, walked closer to the ship, and shouted,
“Excuse me! Is the captain here?”
“Who is calling?”
The sailors all glanced at the two at Sevis’ strong voice.
Sevis adjusted his hat and bowed his head politely. Next to him, Sylvia also greeted them politely.
“Hello. We are the sailors who are supposed to be aboard this ship today.”
“Sailors? I mean… Ye two look a little skinny. Wait a moment. Hey, Captain! The part-timers are here.”
After the pot-bellied sailor called out to the captain, a middle-aged man with a red nose and slightly gray hair appeared, holding a bottle of rum. He said something to the sailor in a low voice after he appeared, then opened the cork of the bottle and drank. Then, staggering, he lowered the ladder, and moved his hand up. It meant for them to climb up.
“Thank you! Let’s go up, Sevis.”
Relying on each other, they perilously climbed the creaking wooden ladder.
‘But even if I am a character in the game, isn’t there no prejudice at all? He hired me too easily, when I am clearly a woman…’
Sylvia felt puzzled for a moment, but she soon let go of her thoughts as she climbed onto the deck and frantically turned around.
As they stepped onto the deck, the ship began to prepare for the departure, as if everyone had come. The captain glanced at them and went up to the captain’s room, not caring. Instead, the pot-bellied sailor took the two of them and assigned them a room, as if he had been instructed in advance. He introduced himself as the boatswain of this ship.
Sylvia was worried about being put in a ten-person room, but fortunately, she ended up sharing a double room with Sevis.
‘The same room again… This is really too unbiased. Well… I’m glad it’s a two-person room, not a five-person room or a ten-person room. Let’s think of it as a characteristic of the R-rated game.’
Though every day went by too uneventfully for the characteristics of an R-rated game, at least she was assigned the same room as Sevis. She decided to think it was a good thing.
Between being assigned a room and being distributed damp sailors’ clothes with a striped pattern that looked worn, the ship set off with the sound of a horn. The two changed into the blue striped clothes and sailor hats, one in the bathroom and one in the room, and walked out to the deck.
“Miss Sylvia! It’s my first time on a boat. I’m so excited.”
“Yeah. It’s exciting. What kind of work will they give us?”
Sevis smiled brightly, but Sylvia’s face was dark. Sevis was excited to be on a ship for the first time, but Sylvia looked at the seaside village moving away as she worried about what other crazy things would happen.
Shortly after, the port grew small like a dot, disappeared from view, and the open sea unfolded.
“Hey! Don’t play around, work!”
The pot-bellied boatswain, who found them leaning against the ship railing and watching the sea, shrieked and ordered them to clean the floor. Together with the other crew members, they worked hard to clean the floor with a brush with a long rod.
Then, they diligently cleaned up the shrimp scraps next to the people mending the nets while looking at the pressing pot-bellied boatswain. After that, they took a dry mop and diligently wiped the boat from top to bottom. Then, they folded the laundry and trimmed the shrimp they had caught… Suddenly, it was time for lunch.
Did they work for three hours? It was the first time she had worked so hard in the game as well as in her real life.
Sylvia brought her nose to her body and sniffed. Her body, which had been dry before she boarded the ship, was soaked with the smell of shrimp. And Sevis next to her was no different.
‘Damn it, this is really hard. I’m not even on a TV show.’
(T/N: The author is referencing a Korean TV show where celebrities experience various ordinary jobs.)
“Miss Sylvia, I can see stars in front of my eyes…”
Sylvia and Sevis were agonizing over the high intensity of their labor when they heard a hectic sound in the corner. Tapping the silver pot with a spoon, the pot-belly announced it was lunchtime.
“Come ‘ave lunch.”
After a moment of dazedness, they glanced at the sailors walking towards the food like a swarm of zombies and went after them.
It was like pandemonium in front of the serving table. The sailors, who had been subjected to harsh labor, pushed each other and scrambled to get food first. The cry of the zombies sounded like a hallucination.
As they made their way through the crowd, they carried a wooden food tray and were rationed with unidentified food. She didn’t expect much from the meal because it was a shrimp-catching boat, but she thought she would get an upset stomach when she looked at the watery porridge, with suspicious ingredients that she didn’t know were meat or vegetables floating in it.
However, isn’t there a saying that you can’t overcome hunger? Even the strange food was easy to eat.
After finishing up the porridge in a hurry, the heavy labor began again less than five minutes later.
‘The meals are small, and they don’t give breaks. If this was real, I would have filed a complaint with the Labor Office, really.’
The damned shrimp boat made a name for itself. The daily wage was not 2,000 gold for nothing, and it wasn’t also for nothing that they were always recruiting.
You would work and work, unable to escape from the endless ocean, until your muscles melted… Then, you would cast away what you were doing when you heard the tapping on the silver pot, hurriedly put the food in your mouth, and fall asleep as if you were dead.
By the end of the third day, the two were no different from the crew that had been there for a few years. Sylvia’s palm had a lot of calluses from the manual labor, something that didn’t happen even when she swung her hammer.
As she wiped away the stubborn grime on the deck, it suddenly became dark. A bell rang announcing the end of the workday, and while Sylvia and Sevis were leaning against a pillar, a few men with bushy beards approached and sat down next to them. Then, they spread out the food they had brought and offered them a drink.
“Hey, Seo! Shin! Have a drink.”
“I’m Sylvia, not Shin… And this is Sevis, not Seo.”
“Whatever it is. When I’m having a hard time, I drink and shake it off.”
Sevis refused because he didn’t want to get distracted, but Sylvia quickly poured out a glass of alcohol. The liquor flowed down her throat with a gulp. After consuming alcohol for the first time in a while, all kinds of anxiety she had seemed to clear up.
“Here, have some shrimp snacks.”
When she looked up while eating grilled shrimp, glittering stars embroidered the sky. She had never known that the night sky was so beautiful, as only labor exploitation was done properly.
As she drank with the crew, she could hear various complaints about the captain and the boatswain.
‘If the captain and the pot-belly hear them talking behind their backs, it’ll be a big deal.’
Scared, Sylvia turned her head and looked around. The crew waved their hands, saying that the captain and boatswain must have been drinking beforehand and stretched out on their beds.
After that, random conversations ensued. At the end, the crew hugged each other and cried happily at the sight of Sylvia and Sevis, who looked like their sons and daughters, saying that they reminded them of their hometown.
After a brief and pleasant drinking session, Sylvia came to her senses when she thought about working tomorrow. Weakly trudging across the prawn-shelled deck, she arrived at her assigned room with Sevis, who hadn’t had a drink.
“Miss Sylvia, please wash up first…”
As Sevis said with a tired voice and slumped to the floor, Sylvia also answered in a weak voice. Sevis ignored the chair and lay down on the wooden floor as if his entire body was exhausted.
Sylvia frowned as she opened the door to the shower, which was rusty enough to make a squeak.
‘I get annoyed every time I want to wash up in this damn shower room.’
The cabin was a hotel compared to this. She took off her clothes and turned on the shower, trembling in pain as if she had been beaten all over. When the water did not come out immediately, Sylvia closed her eyes and trembled.
‘Ugh, that’s right. You have to press on this pedal to get water out. Damn it.’
She suffered on the first day, when she tried to wash up after work but the water didn’t come out. Turns out, it was a shower that had to be pedaled to get water out. Even though this was the third day, she couldn’t get used to it.
She sighed and stepped hard on the pedal on the floor. It took her a long time to finish showering because of the water that came out scarcely even if she stepped on it like crazy.
When she came out of the shower with an exhausted face, Sevis entered as if she was passing him the baton. As Sylvia sat on the bed and turned her neck, it made a horrible snapping noise.
‘This… this is the worst. And my abilities aren’t rising, like in the temple part-time. I’m really struggling. I don’t care about the money, I just want to run away. I have to talk to the captain to get the ship, but what do I do when the work is so hard! I just work without even seeing the captain’s face.’
As she grumbled inwardly, a choice suddenly appeared in front of her.
[If I keep working like this, I don’t know when I’ll go to the Treasure Island! I have to do something. What I have to do when I wake up tomorrow is…
– Discuss the complaint with the crew once more.
– Go to the pot-bellied man and appeal to him to reduce my workload.
– Steal a lifeboat without anyone knowing and escape.]
It seemed that the options appeared because she wasn’t sure about what to do. Option 1 and 2 seemed to be fine, but 3 was a bit out there. Even if she stole a lifeboat and ran away, would she be able to reach the treasure island safely with such a small boat? And besides, she wouldn’t be able to get paid for the three days she worked.
‘We were chatting while having drinks earlier. What will happen if I talk to the crew again? Should I talk to the pot-belly?’
She shook her head at the thought of using the 〈Seriously Talking Nonsense〉 skill for the first time in a long time. Even if she didn’t use that skill, her speech had gone up a lot and she spoke fluently, so she thought it wouldn’t be difficult to persuade the pot-belly. Then, shouldn’t she at least create a good work environment so that she will be able to persuade the captain?
She chose option 2 as she thought like that, but nothing happened right away. She laid her tired body on the cheap bed. Maybe it was because she was working so hard, but as soon as she put her head on the pillow, her eyes closed by themselves. Sylvia fell asleep as if she had collapsed.
How many hours did she sleep? A loud trumpet sounded, signaling to get up. Looking at the status window, her fatigue had been barely resolved. She had not recovered yet, but she had to work again. Sylvia stood up, gnashing her teeth at the damned situation.
Sevis, who had good hearing, must have woken up a long time ago and was putting on his socks.