Chapter 85

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Hailie put the final plate in the crate. She checked the time and groaned. It was almost time to start preparing dinner.

"Hailie, have you seen Kendra?" Justin asked.

"No. She was here just a minute ago." Hailie shoved the crate underneath the sink.

"I'll go look for her. Something feels wrong."

"Hailie." She turned around. Eli was leaning on the counter. He looked worried about something. "I passed Kendra just now going to Shen's workshop. I need you to do me a favour," he said.

"What is it?" she asked.

He tapped his fingers on the counter. "She had that look on her face."

"She looked fine to me," Hailie said. Both he and Justin were worried about Kendra. Something must definitely be wrong.

"She is not fine," Eli said. "She usually goes down to talk to Shen when something's bothering her. They're drinking buddies."

"She could just be helping him out. He can't do much right now."

"Yes, but I'm sure that's not the only reason she's going down there."

Hailie nodded. "What do you want me to do?"

"Eavesdrop."

"I do not know, Eli. I do not think I should," she said.

"Something is wrong and she won't talk to me. I can't help her if I don't know what's wrong. All I need is something specific, an idea that I can ask her about specifically. You have the most silent footsteps of anyone I've ever met. I'm sure you can do it."

Hailie sighed and ran her fingers through her hair. She could do it. She just didn't feel comfortable doing it. "What would you have done if I was not here?"

"I don't know. Normally I would challenge her to a fight to help her blow off some steam. I can't do that now, and she's really tired anyway. Will you do it?"

Hailie groaned. How could she say no when he was looking at her like that?

"Fine. I will find out what they are discussing," she said. "But you owe me for this."

Eli smiled. "Add it to my bill."

Hailie ignored him and went down the stairs to Shen's workshop. She wondered if Kendra was still bothered about the Captain. Maybe she should have told Eli... no. He didn't know much about that situation in the first place. She could be bothered about something else.

The door to Shen's workshop was slightly opened. She could hear hammering on the inside. Hailie went as close as she could without being seen.

"Maybe you should become the Captain," Shen said. The hammering paused for a moment.

"No and that's final. I'm perfectly okay with letting him continue. Indira would be better at it than me," Kendra said. She must have heard what the Captain had told Hailie. The hammering resumed.

"He can't fight now. You'll end up taking charge in the attacks anyway," Shen said. There was a soft thud. "Hey, be careful with that. That's my favourite hammer." Shen had a favourite hammer?

"No. I will not be the one responsible for making any sort of major decisions."

"Why not? He's said so many times that you were on your way to becoming Admiral."

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