Lesson 6

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They were stuck

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They were stuck. Locked in the brig on the lowest deck. The wet air smelled of damp wood and the deck was only lit by a small oil lamp that swung violently back and forth with the pitching of the ship. Benedikt blinked, his eyes trying to adjust to the low light.

"The Waterlogged Weasel is a terrible name for a pirate ship," he remarked.

"Have you completely lost your mind?" Grielle threw her shoulder into Benedikt's arm.

He groaned. "That was highly uncalled for." He would have rubbed his arm but his hands were still bound. The gag had thankfully slipped down around his neck.

"I was handling the situation fine and you just went and mucked up the whole thing!" she roared. "The crew would have gotten you to your maiden and I would have escaped by myself and returned to them. Or Kai would have led them to my location. But now I have His Royal Highness to contend with in my escape as well." She paced frantically back and forth — though there wasn't far to go in the cramped brig.

Benedikt backed himself into a corner to avoid Grielle's tantrum and for fear of catching another one of her bony shoulders. "We couldn't leave you behind. Yorick asked me to make the call, and I told him that we would stage a rescue. You have your rules and I have mine. Stalvart warriors never leave a man or woman behind. Furthermore, I had to get captured or else you wouldn't know help was coming. If you thought you were on your own, you might have sprung yourself and we'd have tracked you down for nothing, risking our own necks for nothing." Benedikt spoke quickly, trying desperately to make Grielle see that he wasn't completely senseless. When the light from the lamp flashed across her face, Benedikt saw her blue eyes giving him a piercing glare.

She watched him with brows furrowed. "That is certainly one way of thinking, but I don't like that you've led my crew into defying my orders." She sighed. "At least I know that backup may be available when the time comes for us to make our escape." She let her back rest on the wall opposite of Benedikt. "No use wasting energy on something I can't change now, but you could have sent a message with Kai."

Benedikt leveled a glare at her. "I don't know how your pigeon works." He thought he saw a flicker of a smile on her lips, but it disappeared before he could be sure.

"Fine," she said. "But there isn't much we can do at the moment. We can't very well escape while we're surrounded by nothing but ocean."

"Where are they taking us?"

"I can't know for sure, but there is an island in the western seas inhabited only by pirates—Osgarden, I think they call it. If there's a bounty on my head, they will likely take us there to collect it." She rested her head on the wall behind her.

A silence fell between them that was broken only by the squeak of the swinging lantern, the rusty links of its chain protesting loudly with each back and forth.

"So what did you and your crew liberate that has a bunch of pirates so upset?" Benedikt asked finally.

Grielle let out a sharp bark of a laugh and tucked a strand of dark blonde hair back into her braid. "We deal in the most precious of lost things, so we often make a great many people upset. Our rules help us to keep a low profile, but I can think of a couple of jobs where things got pretty hairy." The laughter left her voice. "But I can probably guess who put the bounty on my head."

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