464 Privateering 2
What truly baffled Draco was that for such a thing to be included in the list, there had to be a market for it. After all, the design for The Mourner's Dirge was the most expensive of the lot, meaning that it had to be the most valuable… and likely the hardest to build.
Draco's expression became incredibly strange when he thought about this Tradeskill's practice during the old era. Was the system trying to tell him that there were freaks who actually paid Privateers to build these for them?
This just went to show how little he actually comprehended the magnitude of the old era. Across the mapped zones, the entire area had been chock full of so many different races that it had been a melting pot of epic proportions.
Back then, even undead races had existed on the continents, with their very own designated cities and kingdoms. If their kind wanted to expand to the sea, they would definitely need a ship, and wouldn't The Mourner's Dirge have been perfect for them?
Well, there was no such demand in this era, so Draco decided to only build one of The Mourner's Dirge for experience gain purposes. As for his main craft, he decided to create a mixture of The Sailor's Rave and The King's Spear.
Both types of ships would be needed to simultaneously ferry goods and clear the waters of enemies at the early stage, but first Draco would need to learn how to actually construct them.
As he was absolutely clueless on how to build a ship, he sat down in the chair and began reading the books he had purchased hoping for the necessary guidance. Since they cost Aether Crystals, surely what they had to show him would not be meager, right?
What slightly shocked Draco was that once he opened a book, he was pulled into its contents immediately. It was just like when he was learning designs in the Magical Engineering's Personal Workstation.
He was once again put into a first-person view of someone else without being able to control the person's body, like a passenger in a 4D ride. As he was used to this, Draco settled down immediately and concentrated on what was going on around it.
It seemed as if he was in the body of a young shipwright who was apprenticing under an old and quite irritable master. The master was currently taking his apprentice through the ropes of shipbuilding, teaching him how to measure the planks, the general structure of a ship, and the idea behind how a ship remained afloat.
Draco was deathly silent throughout all of this as he greedily absorbed the knowledge bestowed upon the young shipwright who was currently ordered by his master to assist him in some basic tasks.
Whenever Draco's host made a mistake, the master would grunt with displeasure and thwack the boy's head, pointing out what he did wrong, before telling him how to go about it correctly. The boy, who grumbled under his breath, didn't dare to talk back for fear of more physical punishment and quickly fixed his errors.
Inside the boy's mind, Draco was trembling from excitement, because these were the basic errors anyone would have made if they had only heard the master's lecture and went off on their own to try their hands at it.
This 'tutorial' of sorts not only gave a beginning Privateer the raw knowledge, but also offered them some practical experience, especially on how to avoid making the basic mistakes they would have inevitably made.
Draco couldn't help but fantasize about the Sci-fi world at that moment. If he could find a Tradeskill there that alluded to mech building, AI programming, space ship creation, he should be able to easily carry them to the real world as long as Tradeskills provided detailed tutorials like this… obviously for a price.
Still, he brought his excited mind back to the present and continued experiencing the life of the young lad. After what felt like one month, the young fellow was noticeably far more adept in his art and even the master was grunting in acknowledgment of that fact, his arms folded and his expression saying 'not bad' grudgingly.
Of course, Draco had only been present during the times the boy actually worked in the shipyard. Whenever the young shipwright and his master closed for the day, the scene would black-out, resuming only when the duo began a new day in the work area.
Still, after a month of non-stop practice and progress through the eyes of this fellow, Draco felt himself considerably well versed in the basics of building a ship. However, he - and the young shipwright - had yet to actually assist in putting a ship together.
In the final weeks, most of the fellow's duties had consisted of cutting slabs of wood, measuring their length, sanding and fitting them, and finally measuring their collective buoyancy when exposed to water.
On the last day of the fellow's training, he finally was tasked with setting up the base of the ship by himself. As such, he spent the entire day building the ship's underside, from the bowsprit to the stem, to the keel, to the rudder and aft, all the way up to the poop.
It was a small but sturdy outer shell of a ship, with absolutely nothing inside. However, one could say it contained the culmination of a young man's growth and effort over a long period of time, representing his change from a hapless apprentice to one who could stand side-by-side with his master.
The easiest way to tell this, was that the master himself was struggling to hide the smile that was forming on his face, so that he could keep up his usual harsh expression. However, it ultimately failed when the young shipwright bundled over with excitement at his completed task.
The master gave up and hugged the lad, whispering: "I'm proud of you boy. I might just make a professional out of you yet."
The tutorial ended here, and Draco returned to his seat in the Personal Cabin. He shook his head and smiled. Even though he had been put under intense time dilation, he no longer felt it due to his superior mind and the pod.
He put aside the first book, which had led him to the tutorial he just undertook, then grabbed the next one. This one took him to an academy of science, where a bunch of students were studying the science of ships.
The tutorial lasted three months this time, a full semester, including exams. Luckily, the body Draco inhabited had been a serious student who had devoted his time to learning over partying, and Draco had once more soaked up everything.
It had allowed Draco to learn about buoyancy, the required density of the ship's components against the density of water that allowed it to float, the reason why sails were needed for a boat to move, how a boat remained atop the water without capsizing, multiple ways to beat water resistance when sailing and much more.
Everything was theory, sure, but Draco understood that theory was just as important. The previous duo had mostly used guesswork and experience from years of building to do what they had done.
Like most vocational skills, the average practitioner did not know the full science behind what was happening. They mostly gauged the right path through trial and error and following their professional sense to guide them.
One needed to merge these two to get the best of both worlds. The student Draco had inhabited might understand everything about how a ship functioned, moved, and existed, but if stranded on an island with all necessary materials he likely wouldn't be able to build for shit.
Similarly, if you asked the master to explain how the ship he built would float scientifically, what water resistance was and what density was, he would stare at you blankly, not understanding what the hell you had smoked before coming to him.
Scholar vs Vocationist? Neither won. The two needed each other to succeed.
The third book Draco opened transported him into the body of a master this time. He became the foreman of a fledgling shipbuilding yard that seemed to be up and coming. There were quite a few requests from various parties to build the ship, but the master left that to his other master-level shipwrights and their various apprentices.
The foreman went to work on the biggest project that had been granted to the shipyard: A Warship! This was something that they could not afford to botch, for the climb from making mere merchant ships to making warships was steep!
It was like a new car manufacturer brand that mostly dealt with commercial cars being given a contract to produce their first supercar! It was not a simple jump, this would be their grand debut into a bigger world, and they needed to handle everything to perfection!
Naturally, the foreman rallied his absolute best shipwrights and together they toiled night and day. He first drafted the design in detail with his men, and they discussed and debated the science behind it.
Draco, who had gone through the second book that had taught all of this, was easily able to follow along and appreciate the pure ingenuity of their design. It was clear that these fellows had all attended an academy of sorts to know this much.
After they had debated long and hard and had fixed the design to perfection, they started putting it together bit by bit. Draco could see the fluidity and professionalism in their actions, telling him that they were also like the master from the first book who had a wealth of hands-on experience.
They measured everything by gut and hand, matching the design with perfect ease that stunned Draco silly. If the previous two books were like kindergarten level stuff, then what these fellows were teaching him was high school level stuff!
Quickly, they put the entire warship together, but Draco already knew how to do this from the previous two books. He knew how to build a ship from scratch and even augment the design a bit.
However, he became silent when he saw something he had not encountered in the previous two tutorials, which was the construction and placement of cannons, guns, and fortification, in other words, a ship's defenses.
This part was extremely complex and required a lot of work, but Draco followed along diligently, commending these men greatly in his heart. He may not need to build ships in the real world nor had he had much of an interest in them before today, but he could not help but respect the skills of these craftsmen.
It was frankly a pleasure to watch them work.
Draco also learned how to put up dual riggings and how weapons played a role in increasing a ship's weight, thereby lowering its speed and maneuverability. As such, the foreman had to take all of that into account when building the ship, otherwise its relative density to the water would see it sink on contact.
Once this was done and the warship was completed, the foreman and his men feasted and partied for an entire night before presenting their creation to the Crown Prince, who had requisitioned it.
The Crown Prince and his entourage inspected the ship as the foreman and co stood by nervously, but they were worried for naught. The Crown Prince was extremely satisfied, so much so that he even paid a little extra as a tip for their exemplary service.
Surprisingly, the tutorial didn't end there. Three months later, the Crown Prince had won fifteen battles with that single warship and brought it back for repairs. The foreman's shipyard had greatly expanded since then, but he personally saw to the Crown Prince's ship repairs.
Before the tutorial came to an end, the Crown Prince, a typically handsome and heroic-looking fellow with blond hair and blue eyes, patted the shoulder of the foreman and praised him:
"In our kingdom, your type of service is a treasure. As such, I hereby nominate you as Royal Shipwright. Do you accept?"
The foreman, emotional and moved, went on his knees and happily agreed. All his men roared with glee and excitement, for the foreman's glory was their own glory!
The Crown Prince and his royal guard laughed and mingled with the shipwrights as they made merry throughout the night in celebration.
Draco came out of this tutorial with another smile. Truly, if you dedicate yourself to your work and do it with total honesty as well as unambiguity, you will be rewarded by your own efforts!
As pleased as Draco was for the foreman's happy ending, he had two more books to look through. Without wasting another moment dove straightaway into the next one to see what it had in store to teach him.