Ch. 284. Cracking on

Aboard La Danse Calinda

It was almost as if time stood still as Ionas watched the dagger and its accompanying bolt of lightning strike the dragon, but in a moment everything suddenly sped to catch up. It wasn’t the light from the arcing electricity but the sound blast that caused this burst of chaos. Ionas hadn’t expected the accompanying thunder.  Considering everything, he should have, but that was neither here nor there.

He found himself sprawled on the deck after recoiling from the unexpected element to the magical enchantment.  No real damage to him nor any apparent to the ship, but he did significantly damage his pride in the ensuing chaos. After taking a moment to get back up and pretend that nothing had happened, he happily saw that the dragon was making quick time in retreating. The cost of a bruised ego was well and truly worth the result. He took the few moments to savour the sight of the dragon fleeing and then turned his attention back down onto the deck. He could see the Captain, one of the servants and Lord Jeneyeru but not Prince Peino Starhand. This was odd,  From everything Ionas had known about the Prince, he’d expect for the royal to be directly involved in defending against the dragon but he was not seen among the crossbow wielding deck hands nor even on deck at all.

Though an eerie thought had crossed his mind.  What if he wasn’t on board at all? What if the Prince had somehow managed to go overboard? Ionas looked down and saw Beau. Something certainly happened and he didn’t like it, but there was nothing to confirm his suspicions, so he turned his attention back once again to the again to the Captain.

Hmm, yes, the Captain had something weighing on him, unpleasant news that he was in the process of delivering to the formidable wizard. The conclusion was unavoidable — the Prince had fallen overboard, and Beau was somehow involved. Despite the seemingly unconnected events, Ionas couldn’t help but think that it was he, himself, who was responsible for the Prince’s disappearance. An irresponsible act that put the Prince and the ship in danger just like taking the carved wooden idol from the sunken Reputation.

At least the captain had already seemingly started the rescue operation so hopefully things weren’t as bad as they could be.

Aboard Train #47, Raurugia Rail Lines

“Take your rest, milady.  I must see the conductor a moment.  Lock this door after me and do not wander.  I shall return shortly.”

Y’lanna simply nodded at the Elf with the corners of her mouth slightly raised in a part smile and then just leant back and rested in her seat. It was clear to her that something was up. She had missed something. The “lock the door” comment clearly indicated to her that something was going to happen that might require the door to be locked and that he didn’t want her to follow him. Talk to the conductor? That was like talking to the staff of a passenger freighter. You had no reason to do so unless something was about to happen, or something already had.

She had a choice: follow the suggestion as he gave it — he surely must had a reason to do so — or not. It was a moral quandry. For ages, she had been given instructions and she had to follow them. She now had just been given freedom from this, and he wants her to stay and sleep even though something was obviously going down? Then there was the counter argument: He’s doing this for your benefit. Maybe it’s something private and nothing to do with her and she should respect that?

This was a quandary, but in the end she decided that she would go to bed anyway. She was tired, and that for now overrode any curiosity she might have had about the behaviour of her companion. So she followed his instructions and locked it behind him. It was common sense anyway. Without any escort, who knows what might happen to someone who didn’t have the physical presence of Ruili or, indeed, Haug.

As she was finishing getting ready, she heard one of the carriage’s doors unlock as someone pressed against it. It wasn’t surprising as she had expected Ruili back, but she still turned around to welcome him. Of course she didn’t see Ruili. She saw Haug.

“Haug? What are you doing here?” she queried him, knowing very well what he might be after but still seemingly very much in control of herself and her actions. She was going to say more, but then she heard Ruili and his rather obtuse challenge to Haug. This must have been what Ruili knew was going to happen. It was always a risk when involved in the act of seduction, especially for people who are less than upright in their morals, but even then the enjoyment they got was in the game of it. Not so much from the actual end result.

In either case, it was Haug that filled the entirety of her attention as she tried to determine what he might do next.

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This entry was posted in Beau, Blood Arcana, Calinda, Ionas, Jeneyeru, Lafitte, Ruili, Y'lanna. Bookmark the permalink.

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