Only a silent spectator from behind someone else’s eyes. A group of tall men and women carried a crate out of the pyramid, the set it down at the base of the pyramid and opened it, sitting in the crate he found a crystal sphere, a root of glass sat on top of it like a single antler, it seemed to drink up any ray of light that fell upon it, around sphere and antler root was honey, strangely alive with motion it rippled and moved. “The bane!” the crowd cheered on as they were presented with it. Studying the old Albin Leif sat with his eyes wide open, he had barely moved since Danarien had taken his hands. “You were there some ten thousand years ago.” he finally stated, receiving a short nod, barely noticeable, as a reply. “Just how old are you?” he tried to shake off the effects of both Nectar and the memory shared by Danarien. “It is impolite to ask.” Danarien faked a smile, with a digh she took hold of a cup containing an herbal tea. “But if you must know, I was there. I had been there when that Succubi wandered into the camp and together with five others I had formed a pact. The group of the Succubus. We had forged these,” she showed him her pendant, “in her shape. Only the millennia have taken its features off.” shifting uncomfortably in her seat she went on “Ironic, isn’t it? Anyhow, after your ancestors had defeated the Sphinxes we separated, and lay in waiting. I have seen my people grow, shrink, grow again, and turn to their present state.” again she sipped on her tea. “What happened to the others from your group?” Leif asked after she didn’t continue for a few moments.”What happens to all, what should have happened to me too, they died. Don’t ask me why I still live, how I could live for close to ten thousand years.” in her blind eyes Leif saw that she knew, that she was boldly lying to his face, but he bit his tongue. “All I know, I will fight once again. This time I won’t wait until they come to me, I will face them at the only gateway they can pass in masses.” she hinted at both their size and their numbers. Ponderous Leif nodded, the sudden giggling of Fathala steered his thoughts away from the bane and the Dragons it was made to slay. “It’s kind of you to present these changes to our craftsmen,” he heard her trabslate the words of a man. “but grabt us one more attempt, we have scouted good weather more an dmore around the pole.””At least transfer the weight down to the lowest possible point and bulk ship compartments.” she relayed the information spoken. “So when will we be leaving?” she asked Eric directly after the captain had thanked Eric for the suggestions, in the background commands were barked, by Danariens expression Leif could tell that his father’s suggestions were carried out.”Cone nightfall.” Eric’s voice sounded strange to Leif’s ears. Strangely flirtatious, he had heard Thorsten speak like that when courting his wife. Puzzled he got up, the Naga was leaning against his father, who had his arms wrapped around her waist, she in turn had hers laid around his shoulders, her wings engulfed most of the tall lean man. “Father?” startled Eric turned his head to Leif. “Yes?” “I’ve seen the bane!” he whispered. What are you doing with this wench? Mother hasn’t been dead for long and you grope a serpentine sea wench? His eyes did not let on to all his thoughts, but some. “Maybe we should travel there and put it to use with the knowledge you gathered?” Eric replied, If only you knew, he thought.”Back to Naga’na then?” Fathala had not noticed the looks Eric and Leif had exchanged. “For us it’s not going back, but yes. To your Naga’na.” he smiled, pulling her closer, ignoring Leif’s looks.Gently rocking on the waves as Eric and Leif rowed, the boat moved slowly through the sea, shortly after they parted ways with the Albin ship, the Guiding Star, a calmness had settled on the sea, depriving them of any winds that could fill the sail and push the ship onward. Thankfully the ancestral designs had included oars, from time to time Eric glanced eastward, to find only the horizon, without any clouds, sails, or signs of life other than their own. Weather conditions around the pole might have been just perfect for the Guiding Star to reach its destination. If it has oars to move onward. Eric turned his gaze to the bow. Faint, but definitely not an illusion, land crusted the horizon, like a faint crust of ice. “Winter will be coming soon.” Fathala sniffed the air. “In a few weeks the passes to the north of the sweetwater sea will be snowed in, better we approach from the east.” Eric nodded, from their distant vantage point he could clearly distinguish the two landmasses and the calm sea between them. From Fathala he had learned that the calm sea was named because winds and currents did not grow too strong there, keeping the waters calm enough to freeze over in deep winter.”Besides,” she had sighed cuddled against Eric wrapped underneath a woolen blanket, “the Norsers are at war with the Galnerrans, started by a Norser lordling who killed the Galnerran queenmother. Some say it was done with Naga poison.” before she had explained that sea Naga were deadly poisonous, liquifying there victims after a boost to their libido.

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