While sweetwater Naga were not equipped with lethal poison. “And unlike them, we like to lay with men year round.” she had grinned then, obviously herself having a strong libido. “So their north coastal regions might be contested area, the Galnerran fleet lying at Both’anah and all.””East coast it is then.” he steered the ship towards the thin crust off the backboard prow. Dense forests greeted them from afar, lining at the coast south and north, occasionally broken by a landing, mostly tiny fisher villages, or even smaller settlements, but Fathala had them going further south, towards a port town called Wellenheim. According to her and a crude map she drew from memory of a detailed map drawn up by the Albin traders, it had a shorter route to the sweetwater sea, connecting to Reedheim, and further to an Albin settlement on the shore, where they had built the ferries to Naga’na and back. What the two had heard of the humans had baffled them. Whilst Albin and Naga, or Fungals and Florals did most of what they did for the deed itself, except providing services and the likes for trade, humans traded only for money. Their explorers, soldiers, fishermen, farmers, smiths, did their daily deeds only for gold, silver and copper. Sure traders in the other races did as well, but the majority of them worked for the betterment of themselves. As had Eric for all his life, as had Leif. “Even asking questions costs,” she paused, “well, answers to these questions cost.” she corrected herself a heartbeat later. “Queer people. How did that text go you found in the old quarters?” Eric looked over to Leif, the young eunuch had difficulty keeping pace with his father, either he was too fast, or became too slow when limiting his rows. “Friend, give me some wine to quench my thirst,give me some bread to sate my hunger, beauty for my sore eyes to behold and a garden’s blossoms to play my nose. What more can i ask than this?” Leif panted, he had to restrain his strokes, which cost him strength even more than the rowing itself. “Exactly!” Eric was glad that Leif had left out the last part of it. “What more does any man, or woman need?” he turned over his shoulder to Fathala, which kept the rudder in place. Although here was a wind blowing, the two used he oars as it blew down the shore out to sea. Though it would’ve been of use, Eric didn’t want to constantly correct course. “There!” Fathala cried out joyously, pointing south. Through the autumnly colored forest, some place barren branches and twigs, a belltower appeared. It belonged to the church in the port town, the tallest structure in Wellenheim, home to preachers, priests and mages of the circle. After a few more strokes the radiant smile on Fathalas lips died away, a few gusts if wind brought her ill news. “I think it best we land outside the town.” she steered them in a steep angle towards the shore. Alarmed Eric and Leif stopped rowing, retrieved the oars. “Are you mad? That rocky shore could tear the bow of his ship open like a butchers knife the belly of a lamb!” Leif barked. Eric’s hand reached for Leif’s arm to tug him on his sleeve, buteif withdrew his ha.d quick enough. “I won’t be silent father!” he stepped away from Eric to chase Fathala away from the rudder. “I hadn’t raised my voice when you defiled mothers memory mere quarter a year after she had died, but she nigh killed us, or at keast our ship!” Fathala stared at Leif with tears in her eyes, she had jumped away from the eunuch knight, sought to take refuge behind Eric. “I never meant,” she squirmed, but Leif grabbed the rudder jerking it around again so the ship turned to face south once more. “I don’t care what you meant, or meant not sea wench.” he grumbled.”Shut your mouth or I’ll do it for you! On ny ship you will do as I say, speak as I say and behave as I see fit.” Eric stood protective over Fathala, who had managed to reach a point behind him. Normally she would’ve stood her ground, but Leif’s sudden maniacal outburst left her to shocked and surprised. “Your ship?” Leif stepped from rudder towards his father. “My ship.” Eric’s voice was calm, but had strong undertone to it that warned his son to leave it at that. Grinding his teeth Leuf stood defiant and stared at his father. “I built it, I command it. It us my ship, if you do not like it, jump off and swim back to the order.” that was salt in an open wound, Eric knew but his son still sat down next to the rudder, his jaw locked tight. “Orders, captain?” Sick of being bossed around Leif hissed like a snake. First, during his childhood it was his father, mother and older brothers who told him what to do and when, then his acolyte years he was treated like an unknowing halfwit, after his training had completed the order still treated him like a hot headed lackwit. He had, had the idea to build the ship, to fibd women for the villages, so more girls would be born henceforth, and maybe to find the bane. His idea! Yet, hus father assumed control over his mission. Just as he had when he decided to send Leif to the order. “Maneuver to shore, we can land here, she is built for landing in the wild.” Eric lowered tge blades if the oars back into the water, with a gesture he bud Fathala to aid him in rowing. To see his father court the Naga was an additional insult, it grieved him to know that his mother hadn’t been dead so long and yet Eric chased the first female he had encountered. “Aye!” he hissed between his clenched teeth. “Pray forgive my son, my lady.” he mumbled low enough for Leif not to hear. “He is young, and his temper us as bad as mine in his age.” Still shaking Fathala gave a court nod. “You were surely not as angry as him.” she whispered, her lisp only showed when whispering. Why am I this shaky? I could’ve bested him, despite his training, arms and armor, she thought while stroking the oar in rhythm with Eric, slowly, carefully. Edging towards the shore.A rumble went through the small vessel, Leif’s stern expression, with the clenched jaw and anger in his eyes did not twitch. “Leif! Come.” Eric still sounded distantly cold when addressing his eunuch son. The two men went to the prow of the ship, jumped over board. Fathala heard the splash, they pulled it up the stony shore with a tow. Quickly Fathala had left the ship, landing gracefully behind them, reaching for the tow as well, but hesitated. “Stand back, please.” she stood upright. As the two men stood back from the ship she bowed her head and spread open her arms and wings, gesturing with her hands, slowly, but noticeable, the ship yanked forward, slid weightless over the stones way above the tide line, there she rested it against a dead tree that had washed ashore. “I wouldn’t have damaged your ship, even if she hadn’t been build to withstand a rough landing.” addressing Leif her voice was accusing.