178 Completion of the First Fluyt

While the war in the Sassanid Empire, which would determine the next High King, had just entered a new phase of violence. Marcellus was on the other side of the world, admiring the first of his new class of sailing ships to be completed.

In the city of Neapolis, a large vessel, far larger than anything this world had ever seen thus far, was sitting in the harbor. As the current Emperor of the Roman Empire, Marcellus was naturally surrounded by his most elite guard. Who protected him from any unknown threats lingering in the crowd.

This was not a warship, rather a large trading vessel, designed with the explicit intent of sailing across the world's many oceans. A crew of experienced sailors were standing on the docks, along with the Emperor of Rome himself, as he cheered them on for what would be their first trip in this newest vessel.

"I stand here today, as a man who is proud of his nation. We, as Romans, have built a mighty ship, unlike any other that has ever existed prior to this moment. And it is my hope that we build many more in the upcoming years.

Today, you all set sail to test out this vessel and its projected capabilities. I will not have you make a voyage that no man has ever made before. Not today at least.. Instead, I will have you sail from Neapolis to Britannia in an attempt to see just how efficient this new means of transport it. If your journey is successful, then your next voyage will be to sail around the continent of Africa!"

The crowd which had gathered to watch the magnificent ship all gasped in shock, along with the sailors. Nobody had ever attempted such a long journey, and many believes it to be impossible. However, Marcellus was certain from the memories of his past life, that a journey across the southern tip of Africa, and towards India, was most certainly a possibility, especially with a ship this size.

To the sailors, this harrowing journey which waited for them was both fearsome and awe-inspiring. If they managed to accomplish such a task, then they would be remembered throughout history. Thus, they all began to salute the Emperor and his mighty vision.

As for Marcellus, he had a bottle of wine in his hand. Which he was quick to smash against the vessel's wooden hull while he christened the ship.

"I hereby declare this vessel the Roma, may she and her crew travel far and wide across the globe and spread the glory of Rome while they are at it!"

The crowd broke into a fit of cheers as Marcellus stepped away from the ship and saluted the captain of the vessel.

"Captain, I believe you have a long journey ahead of you. May the gods bless you on your journey to britannia and ensure a safe return home."

The Captain smiled and accepted Marcellus' prayer of safety, despite the mention of the ancient Pagan gods. Things had changed quite rapidly since Marcellus reunited with the two halves of the Empire. The persecution of non-Christians was no longer occurring, at least not from the state of Rome itself.

And while the Bishop of Rome continued to condemn Marcellus as the anti-christ, most of his followers did not actually believe this. If anything, Marcellus had prevented what many perceived to be the end times from occurring, rather than being the man to spearhead it.

Still, there were many zealots among the church's parish, and thus Marcellus walked through the streets of his empire with a large military escort, to ensure that no man would attempt to slay the 'antichrist'.ραпdα `nᴏνɐ| сom

As a result of this transformation, more people were becoming tolerant towards the old gods, especially when they seemed to be the ones responsible for this sudden resurgence in Rome's glory and prosperity.

Thus, it came as no surprise when the captain and his crew accepted Marcellus' blessings with a smile and a salute, before jumping onto the ship, and casting off towards Britannia. Once the vessel had sailed beyond the horizon, Marcellus turned away and faced his people with a confident expression on his rugged face.

"Today marks the day of a new era of maritime supremacy. I promise to sponsor expeditions across this vast globe we live upon over the next few years, and bring untold riches back to Rome!"

The crowd erupted in thunderous applause at Marcellus' short speech, before finally dispersing only after the man himself departed from the scene. Once inside his carriage, Marcellus noticed Sigefrida's presence. The woman was a bit skeptical about this new ship of his and was quick to voice her opinion on the matter.

"I know you have created many a few miracles these last few years, but you can't honestly believe this ship of yours will be able to sail across the world?"

Rather than get upset at Sigefrida's words, Marcellus simply chuckled before kissing her in a fit of passion. Once he had done so, he looked out the window towards the horizon where the ship named Roma had long since vanished from sight. After staring in silence at the sunset for some time, Marcellus clicked his tongue thrice before responding to Sigefrida's disbelief with condenscending tone.

"Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith?"

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Naturally, Sigefrida had heard the words of the bible spoken more times than she could count, and was thus slightly surprised that Marcellus had spoken those words.

"I thought for sure I would never hear you of all people quote the Christian holy book... Who are you, and what have you done with my man?"

Marcellus simply snickered in response to this and continued to stare out the window. Sigefrida would never know of what he had seen in that other world. Nor could she comprehend the level of wealth that existed outside of Europe.

No longer did Marcellus simply intend to save the Empire, he sought to expand its borders across the globe, and harvest all the world's natural resources for Rome itself. After all, so many of the people who were dwelling in the lands where these resources existed were doing nothing with them, why should he not take them for himself?

To do this, he would need a fleet of ships to sail across the seven seas, and maintain supply routes with Rome's future colonies. Something which he was just now building the foundation for.