Chapter Three: Gravy Boat

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Hain looked at it with a shrug. “Please forgive him. My friend here was extremely thirsty. And his English is horrible.”

My English is far better than your own. You can neither read nor write any language, Kas grumbled back at Hain’s psi.

“Stop steaming kid or they’re gonna fry us like fish eggs. You know how Jru always preaches that the strongest should always be the first to head into a battle?

Yes?

“Well, here it’s the cute and innocent ones who go first.

Kas recollected his state of calm. He highly doubted that the Dock mistress had accumulated her great wealth by believing idiots who were unable to hold a drink down. Or their feet steady, while blaming someone a fraction of their age for their drunkenness.

Gloria walked closer and grabbed the empty bottle from his hands, before lifting his face up with her free hand. Her beautiful eyes paralyzed him. For a moment, Kas thought them to be blue, before he saw the green in them that Hain had. Human’s eyes weren’t supposed to appear as different colors to the seer to match their intentions, so he figured it was all his imagination.

Kas lowered his own eyes, which was an instinctive way to avoid provoking her. But the sight of her curves that were like the waves of the ocean ignited him into a blush without so much as a drop of alcohol in him. He felt as if he were being burned from the inside out.

“Rather a handsome one to be in your company,” Gloria noted aloud. Kas shivered when the green eyes of the Awl above them looked his way and caught some of his more vulnerable Threads in turn. “Is he of an upper class I should take note of?”

“Why do you say that?” Hain asked with a bit of concern of Kas’ identity being found out. Delare was still closely eavesdropping on them from above.

“There isn’t a scar on him.”

“Well, that won’t work. How dare you try to deceive the Lady Gloria you stupid kid,” Hain said before he used his hand to slap Kas in such a manner to leave the result of his sharp nails bleeding on his cheek.

Kas could feel Hain sop up every bit of pleasure for striking him, knowing full well that if he reacted at this point with so much as a glare, it would blow his cover. There wasn’t much to hide on Hain’s part, as he could have been Aragmoth himself and the phelan somnus wouldn’t have hesitated to hit him.

“Better?”

“Unnecessary,” Gloria said as she pressed her handkerchief against Kas’ face.

“So you believe the dragons are caels?” Kas needed to find a change of topic as he could feel the pluma Awl tighten its fingers on his Threads, as much as Hain was holding out to save both their necks. But the alcohol wouldn’t keep Delare out of Hain’s dizzy thoughts for long.

“No, I think they’re demons, as I do with anything that is more beautiful than my two consorts. I also respect them as the bigger demons after they nearly turned my ship into driftwood.”

“That’s when you hurled a bottle of wine into the eyes of the fiery cael of war, turning his eyes to ash, which toppled him from the skies and doused his rage in the cold Eternal Waters,” Hain trumpeted like a storyteller. He spread his arms towards the water to embrace it onto himself, pretending to use the sea’s breeze to cool his passion for his Muse.

“It was a bottle of char-don-nay,” Gloria said as she grabbed the bronze armor that slung over his left shoulder to his waist from behind, and spun him around. It was only a thin strap of metal, but it was enough to keep an Awl or a blade from attacking his heart first. “It’s not my tail that will be strolling their lands without this gesture of good will beforehand.”

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