Yeva had opted to stay mostly quiet since her public exposure, huddled against the side of the deck, it was too much embarrassment to speak again. On the water, Professor Carter had tried to cheer her up, but her smiles were far from believable, "I think I'd just like to be left alone for awhile,"
He nodded, looking at the rest of the group, "We will talk again in Almund," Professor Carter made his way to the others while Caelin barked a few orders, pulling ropes and directing sails. Yeva especially avoided his eye, drawing her cloak around her tightly while the others began telling stories to pass the time. The water was rather peaceful and the weather was nice. For awhile, she rested her cheek against the railing and watched the waves, smiling faintly when she noticed some were the colors of rainbows. Scalvoris was truly a strange and wonderful place.
The soft lull of the sailing ship soothed her, distracted her. She began to close her eyes and listen to the sound of her classmates talking. One girl in particular seemed eager to share her tale, voice building for dramatic effect, "...and that was the day my dead pet returned to save my life!"
The others groaned, some laughed.
"There ain't nothing true about that story!"
Yeva smiled against the wood and began to close her eyes as the sunlight played upon the water.
A hand touched her shoulder, Professor Carter crouched beside her, "We're arriving, Yeva."
She sat up and looked around. The sun had lowered on the water, barely visible over the horizon in a mass of purples, oranges, and lemon yellow. Her classmates stood along the railing, chatting as Almund came into view. Yeva stood up; her clothes had dried in her slumber and she absentmindedly felt her hair, wondering how nu-tameable it must have looked.
"Ladies and gentlemen," Caelin called, steering the ketch to pass beneath the monstrous shadow of a true pirate's vessel. Yeva craned her neck as they swooped beneath it and its artistry, turning to see the dozens of other ships that dotted the water. Gulls swooped overhead, and the sound of curses, laughter, and foreign language mixed with the growing echo of dock bells, "Welcome to Port Diablo
It wasn't a full port by any means, but it still had an air of importance that clung to the old docks, some more dilapidated than others. Men and women walked the boards, covered in tattoos and weaponry - signature sabers and cutlasses hanging from cloth waist bands - they paroled their goods, clearly distrustful of each other, and when the small scholarly group began to dock, Yeva shrunk back, "I'm going go have a chat with the port master; he's expecting me. Do not leave this ship."
Cealin finished tying a rope off and left them and not even Professor Carter spoke in his absence. They waited anxiously and in silence. Yeva thought she heard someone fall into the water and gave a start, imagining a pirate execution on a nearby ship, but she didn't turn her head. Interest might put her at risk.
Eventually, Caelin returned, walking alongside a woman who was speaking Rakahi. The two laughed and she touched his arm with a wink before heading back towards shore. Forgotten quickly, the guide hefted a crate of something in one arm which he dropped upon the deck in a wet thud. Something inside it scuttled around, the sound of hardened shell making the students collectively grimace, "Everyone still in one piece?" he was grinning again and already began to load up for departure.
Caelin looked over but it was Professor Carter who spoke, "Ah, yes, this was only a temporary stop. Now, our trip really begins."
His teaching confidence returned and he took control, "Mr. Ash is going to take us around to the coast where we will hope to locate and capture an elusive aquatic creature - The Muter Fish!"
Everyone began to reach for their notebooks or study materials, realizing the lecture was about to begin in earnest and once ready, Professor Carter continued...