98 An Exchange of Information*
The door to the Leaky Boat swung open with a crash, Captain Jeremiah Token and his cabinboy Aaron walking through it with long, purposeful strides. Arthur, who was cleaning tankards behind the bar, glanced over in surprise to see someone come in so early.
He paused when he realised who it was, "By the Gods, Jerry, didn't expect to see you in here for another week," Arthur grinned, "The usual?"
"Of course, and the wind was favourable to us," Jeremiah replied, sitting up at the bar and pulling out a stool beside him for his cabin boy.
Arthur turned to Aaron, "And you?"
"Probably best if I forego the drink until this evening," Aaron replied, "It's yet to be determined whether the Captain's sea legs will carrying him back to the longboats whilst merry".
Arthur grinned, but Jeremiah looked appalled, "My sea legs work just fine".
"Whilst filled with ale?" asked Aaron.
Jeremiah turned away, unwilling to answer.
"So, tell me what tales your Leaky Boat has been privy too in my absence, Arthur," Jeremiah replied.
Arthur raised an eyebrow, as he put a full tankard down in front of Jeremiah, "For free?"
Jeremiah lifted the drink, "I'm drinking your ale".
"Not for free," Arthur replied.
Jeremiah took a big gulp of his drink as Aaron retrieved a coin purse and tossed out three silver coins, "That should be enough for the ale".
Jeremiah took a breath as he put down the tankard, "As for the tales...I may or may not have heard a certain rumour about a goddess descending amongst the common folk".
Arthur raised an eyebrow, disbelieving.
Jeremiah nodded, "Rumours say she had the ears and tail of a fox".
"I don't give information out in exchange for rumours," Arthur replied.
"No, you don't," Jeremiah agreed, "But you do if those rumours pertain to the Fairy Forest".
Arthur frowned in contemplation for a moment. The Fairy Forest of the Southern Continent almost as large as Lovolon and Arkia combined. It dominated the Eastern block of the continent, and no one had ever been able to find a way through it. It was so large and so mysterious, that nobody truly knew what dwelled within. but the stories that travelled from it...they were too many to deny the nature of the forest itself.
"A Goddess with the ears and tail of a fox you say?" asked Arthur.
"The rumour said she descended to grant the wish of a child with a sick mother, and there are plenty of witnesses to testify. So many that the King of Gildred ordered this goddess found. But of course, nobody can navigate the Fairy Forest well enough," Jeremiah said.
Arthur was silent a moment longer, weighing the information, then he nodded, "Got our fair share of mysterious in the Port as well".
"Port Lovolon?" asked Jeremiah, unconvinced, "Nothing is mysterious about this place. Probably one of the most straightforward Ports I've ever docked in".
Arthur grinned, "Well, up until three weeks ago that is".
Jeremiah raised an eyebrow, interest filling him.
Arthur, knowing he'd draw Jeremiah in, leaned forward with the old Captain, "Three young men arrived in the port three weeks ago from the north looking for work. No one knows where north they came from, and they keep to themselves but there's just something about them. Can't quite put my finger on it".
"Think they'll cause trouble?" asked Jeremiah.
Arthur shook his head, "Not intentionally. The one with the hood though...he just feels off".
"So you know them, or they've eaten here?" asked Jeremiah.
"They won't talk to anyone," Arthur replied, "But they eat here pretty often".
Jeremiah nodded as he leaned back, turning to look at Aaron before looking at Arthur, "That's the most useless piece of information I've ever heard".
Arthur grinned, "Thought you were a Captain and knew when to pick your battles. Not my fault you lost out".
Jeremiah turned away with a frown.
"Tell you who has been causing trouble though-"
"Don't tell me it's Ewan," Jeremiah grumbled.
"Okay," Arthur shrugged, going back to his tankards. Jeremiah looked at Arthur for a moment for confirmation of his thoughts, then sighed heavily.
"He just doesn't know when to quit does he?"
"I won't say that you started it by replacing him as first mate and then throwing him off the ship because he had to have done something wrong, but he doesn't see it that way," Arthur replied, "He'd been letting his fists talk in pretty much every tavern in the port since you left".
Jeremiah rubbed a hand down his face, unwilling to deal with the problem he now faced. This was why he hated coming ashore. He had to deal with people.
"Think there's a chance that I'll be able to leave tomorrow morning with the tide before he catches up to me?" asked Jeremiah.
"It's doubtful, Sir," Aaron replied, "Ewan let the power get to his head, but his nose was always good at sniffing out whatever he wanted. At least until Midas came aboard".
Jeremiah nodded in agreement. Ewan had never forgiven either of them for replacing him. But the fact was that he'd staged a mutiny to try and overthrow Jeremiah. Him and all of his followers had been dropped off at the next port and Jeremiah had sailed off into the sunset without a care for him. Though, if the rumours were true, Ewan had spent a fair bit of his time attempting to convince the masses that he was the owner of The Miranda. Clearly he hadn't made too much of a dent or the Token Trading firm would have dealt with him by now.
"Alright," Jeremiah said, downing his drink, "Better go and warn Midas to prepare then. I'll be back this evening for more".
Arthur nodded in reply as he held up the coins, "I'll remember you've prepaid".
Jeremiah smirked in reply to his old friend and left the Leaky Boat behind.