Warning: This work has been rated 18+ for language, violence, and mature content.
Word Count: 1103
Sleeping in an actual bed after weeks on the road was a welcome change. Lorne was certainly enjoying the change. He'd missed sleeping in a bed. Of course, that didn't mean he wasn't bothered. Alvena was still looking for her brother and there was still the necromancer that Issy had mentioned rumours of, though asking around in the city's various taverns and inns revealed no sign of them. Not even a tiny little rumour.
Plenty of stories about roaming beasts and monsters, and plenty of talk of magic and dragons--but no necromancer.
Lorne was also concerned about the girl tthat Emrys had encountered. They'd seen no sign of her, heard nothing. He had a feeling she'd been following them, but he couldn't be sure. Whenever he checked behind them or around their camp for the night, he couldn't find anything. That didn't mean she wasn't there.
Of course, there was a lot more to be concerned about. Like magic that could mess with a dragon's memories and forces that could--and would--slaughter an entire village. Lorne still wasn't sure why the village had been destoryed and the villagers killed, but he was sure there was a reason.
Regardless of all their mounting concerns, Lorne had ended up sitting at the bar in the tavern they'd rented rooms in. He'd resorted to drinking. Mostly because he was bordered, but also because he'd really, really needed one after the shit they'd been through the last few weeks.
"Drinking, Lorne? This early in the morning?"
Lorne snorted and glanced over to see Emrys watching him with a raised eyebrow. "After Edda? I think I'm entitled to a drink or two."
Emrys just sighed, waved down the bartender to order a drink and joined him at the bar. "I suppose you've got a point," he said, casually leaning back against the bar beside him. "Edda was a mess." Emrys smiled. "Seen any sign of the girl?"
He shook his head. "Not yet. Even Sage says he hasn't noticed her." Lorne frowned and took another sip of his ale. "And that's pretty damn impressive, to be perfectly honest."
"Mmh," the other man hummed, smiling slightly. "I agree with that. She is definitely stronger than she looks." Emrys exhaled and turned to accept his own mug of ale when the bartender handed it off to him. "You think she followed us?"
"Of course she did," Lorne huffed, setting his mug down. "We might not have seen her, but I'm pretty sure she followed us."
"All the way here, to Sarea?"
He nodded. "I'd imagine so."
Emrys frowned and sipped his ale, glancing about the tavern warily. "Where would she be?" he asked, concerned. "Do you think she's here, in the tavern?"
Lorne shrugged. "Sarea's a big city, Emrys. She could be anywhere." He cast Emrys a dark look. "And we still need to find a healer, don't we?"
"Ugh," the other man groaned. "Don't remind me. I have a feeling we'll be needing one in the future..."
"No shit," Lorne muttered sourly. "I am not looking forward to the rest of this adventure."
The next few days were spent gathering supplies and looking for a healer. The supplies were easy enough to find, but a healer was harder. Sage had disappeared somewhere and Lorne was hesitant to ask the dragon where he was going. Alvena was in and out of a local elf-run guild. Emrys was trailing Lorne around and Lorne didn't know where Cass and Issy were or what they were doing.
Lorne, of course, had been assigned to find horses for them as his latest task. Unfortunately, no one wanted to sell him horses. Not even to rent, to borrow. Nothing. Nor could he find a cart to buy, rent or borrow. It was frustrating.
Which led him to the docks on the lake shore.
Lorne studied the dozen or so ships scattered across the docks, frowning as he eyed each flag to figure out which one might offer them passage across the lake and down the river to the coast. He turned to find Emrys standing behind him, watching him and then glancing over the ships. Of course, Lorne hadn't come to the docks alone.
"What?" Lorne asked, catching the look Emrys sent him. "What's that look for?"
"Those three," Emrys said, pointing out three ships with three tall masts and white sails. "Those are Melnarian royal ships. The rest are fishing vessels..." He paused, eyes on the last of the ships--this one had faded red sails and a black hull. "That one is a pirate ship."
Lorne tilted his head. "Pirates, hm?" He glanced between Emrys and the ship. "Do you think with enough gold, we could convince them to take us down the river?"
The other prince seemed to consider that for a long moment, then fixed him with a narrow-eyed, considering look. "Couldn't hurt to ask," Emrys said, tilting his head in thought. "Come on. I think I know where the captain is."
Emrys led him to a dingy little tavern right on the border of the docks and warehouse area and the main markets on the edge of the city. Lorne merely followed the older prince inside, keeping his mouth shut as Emrys spoke lowly with the bartender and was directed towards a door guarded by a mountain of a man with a wicked scar across his face and down his neck, where it disappeared beneath his shirt. Emrys nodded, thanked the man and turned to head towards the door and the large, scarred man.
"Emrys," Lorne hissed, catching his friend's attention when he paused to glance towards him. "Is that wise?"
"Hush, Lorne," the older prince said. "Let me do the talking."
"Lorne," Emrys said, turning towards him and gently taking him by the elbows. "Trust me, please?"
Lorne hesitated, glancing around the tavern before focusing on Emrys again. He nodded, firmly, and Emrys let him go.
"Come on," the older man said, turning to head towards the giant man and the door to what Lorne could only assume was a backroom.
Emrys stopped before the other man, tilting his head back just a little to look up at the man, who had stepped in the way. The man grunted at them and crossed his arms over his chest.
"What d'ya want?" he demanded, scowling at him.
"I wish to speak to your captain," Emrys said, raising an eyebrow at the man. The giant pirate just glowered at him, unimpressed. "About passage down the river to the coast."
The pirate watched him a moment longer, then smirked. "Ballsy one, ain't ya?" he said, then turned to open the door. "Follow me."
He pushed through the doorway and into the shadowy room beyond. Lorne and Emrys exchanged a glance before following after him.