Breaking the early morning fog like a guiding light, the torch in the distance began waving left and right. Only the sound of the boat breaking through the water could be heard. The captain of the sloop could be seen gesturing toward a crew member. The crew member lit a torch and gesture a series of movements using the torch. The torch in the distance followed suit as if replying to the man’s gesture. The other crew member took out oars and began paddling toward the torch. A few meters out, a crew member grabbed a floating rope and began pulling it. The sloop slowly made its way closer toward the torch. As they come closer, Nathan could make out five people including the torchbearer standing on a makeshift dock. Nathan pulled down his helmet’s visor and unsheathe his long sword. The other Ironridge-born followed suit. The captain stood behind Nathan.
“Nightingale,” the torchbearer said as the sloop was several meters away from shore.
“Black Magpie,” the captain replied
“Silver Hawk,” the torchbearer replied
“Tuscan Wolf,” the captain replied.
The ship’s crew collectively held their breath, awaiting the reply from the torchbearer. Nathan began scanning his surroundings for signs of an ambush.
After a few bits, the torchbearer replied, “Fat cook.”
The captain gave Nathan a light pat on his back. The torch bearer and the people with him began pulling on the rope, guiding the sloop closer toward the makeshift dock.
“Should’ve been here several breaks ago.” The torchbearer said as he gets on the sloop
“Tell ya boys to be more punctual next time, we’ve been holding out near the bay since yesterday. No sight of em. Good thing we didn’t run into the patrol.” The captain replied as he took out a piece of cigar from his coat’s pocket and lit it. “Come on, get to it, we’re sitting ducks out here.”
The torch bearer grunts as he gestures his men to inspect the cargo and unload it from the sloop.
“Ya on another job ya greedy geezer?” the torchbearer said as he eyed Nathan and the other Ironridge-born up and down. “Ya transporting something valuable huh?” he continued as he walks closer toward the captain.
Before the torchbearer could get closer to the captain, Nathan lifted his long sword to act as a barrier between the captain and the torchbearer. “We got a schedule to catch,” Nathan said. The torchbearer pushed against Nathan’s long sword to get closer toward the captain. The other Ironridge-born were either unsheathing their weapons or standing in front of the torchbearer’s men.
The torchbearer scoffs. Nathan lifted his sword higher just beneath the man’s chin. “I said we got a schedule to catch,” Nathan said slowly, making sure the man heard him. The torchbearer stared at Nathan.
“The goods all here boss.” One of the torch bearer’s men said, breaking the silence.
The torch bearer scoffs then he move back and grab a bag of nels from his coat pocket. “Well geezer, pleasure doing business with ya. Don’t be late next time.” He replied as he followed his men off the boat.
The sloop left the makeshift dock and continue its journey toward the city.
Nathan and the rest of the Ironridge-born disembarked near Mistral village. They make their way toward Rosmerta Winery. Nathan was at the very back of the group, as he followed the other Ironridge-born through the door, the warm air from the Winery greeted them. But it was short-lived.
Nathan felt cool and a bit damp. He looked up and saw that he wasn’t at Rosemerta Winery anymore. He was in front of a cave.
35th of Saun 721, The Heart of the World, Near Sirothelle
“What the-“ Nathan exclaimed, but was cut short with the introduction of the tall silver eyed-man with sandy hair.
Nathan was about to question the person’s identity when he heard Faldrun’s name and about the location that he’s at.
“Damn it, this is the last place on Idalos I’d rather be, and yet, here I am,” Nathan muttered to himself, as he continues listening to the Immortal’s briefing. As soon as the Immortal vanished, Nathan makes his way toward the puddle of saltwater left behind. “Better to be fighting that iron-handed geezer Lokhert than being here.” He muttered to himself.
The woman’s question brought Nathan’s attention back to the present. He looked at the other people present there.
“So we’re currently deep behind enemy lines. No mounts in sight, crossing into the Etzori or Ne’haer region on foot would be a death sentence. The Aukari patrols, the Lotharean horde, not to mention those Blades at the Ne’haer border. So heading back is out of the options, unless any of you could fly or do those stuff that could get you from one place to another in an instant.” Nathan said as he moves slowly inside the cave.
He stopped then turned around facing the three other people. “The name’s Nathan Wolfgang. Guess we should know each other’s name in case only one of us comes out of this alive. I’m going inside the cave. Better than being sitting ducks out in the open, sticking together would be a better idea than getting pick off by those Aukari bastards one by one. Safety in numbers right? We’re fucked either way, so better make it count” He said before turning back and heading inside the cave.