Thunder roared across the sea, it stemmed from the imperial ship, for a moment both Venia and Helius thought there ought to appear a republican ship behind them, unleashing conjured thunder and lightning on them. But safe for a puff of smoke that quickly was left behind by the ship nothing had happened. “Alchemy.” Andrea stated dryly. “They have warned the owl ship to turn back.” Helius shook his head, he couldn’t believe the empire could have mastered the alchemical fire powder. As the ships neared one another and the two Albin ships again thunder sounded, something was simultaneously flung across the distance to the owl ship, tearing a hole in the ships hull. More shots, accompanied by magical attacks and archery sounded, tearing gaping holes into the ship that came from northeast. Capsized the formerly imposing ship lay adrift in the sea, the fungal ship had pulled along side Venias, matched speed. A man in dark uniform stood on the deck, the others had returned to their maribe duties. Dangerously glistening black iron pipes faced the ship. As they had come closer during the encounter with the owls Venia had seen fire, smoke and iron spheres come from them. Worry rose in her. “We wont surrender if that is your plan!” Helius had taken the initiative, without checking back with Venia he drew his sword.”It isn’t.” the man came to life after his formerly statue like composure. “We came to aid.” in disbelief Hius lowered his sword. “Why?” Venia slithered closer to the side of her ship. Suddenly the feet of the man sprung to life. “The great fungus was planted by the Sphinxes, but to their disappointment he grew sentient, disobedient.” he smirked. Only at that moment dud Venia ask herself what that man’s name was. Did imperial fungals have names? For all she was given to understand they were one collective mind. Names in such a collective mind would be even more useless, than in the traditional solitary lifestyle of a Naga. “What ensued is known history. But the Sphinxes also had left behind a people in their liking, the ones we fought were of these people.” his selfrighteous smile vanished slowly as he spoke.