110 A Step Past Logic*
Ewan was livid. How dare Jeremiah make a fool out of him in his moment of triumph? The plan had been pulled off meticulously well. The Token Warehouse had been burned to the ground, sending the company into a flurry of the unknown, and dragging the great Captain down with it. Best of all, they had no idea where to look for answers. The lack of witnesses had only worked in Ewan's favour.
Admittedly, he'd been somewhat worried when they'd started searching the Peony District, but there was no trace of evidence to lead back to the culprits, only where the evidence had come from.
Ewan was sure that no matter if Jeremiah suspected him or not, they had no evidence, and hence, Ewan was cocky in his victory.
But now, having faced Jeremiah and still having come out below his former Captain...Ewan wanted more. He needed to prove that he was better, that Jeremiah had made a mistake. That no matter what the great Jeremiah Token did, he would never escape the fact that he had betrayed and thrown aside a loyal first mate. A powerful first mate.
But how to do it? The guards had doubled around the Token District. His chances to hit at their business again had narrowed significantly to the point where he would be stupid to risk it.
So how else could he harm Jeremiah? His crew were certainly important, but they were rarely unskilled and their movements were often limited to the Token District. The circumstances were therefore not ideal for Ewan to strike a blow at them either.
He'd thought for several hours after his embarrassment at the Leaky Boat that night. His thoughts circling more and more violently as he considered how to hurt Jeremiah. How to hurt the source of all his troubles.
Finally, an idea had occurred to him.
Jeremiah had mentioned that new goods to replace those that burned had yet to make it to the warehouse. It was the only thing preventing Jeremiah from leaving Port Lovolon. If Ewan could get his hands on that cargo before it got to the Token District...
Relaxing on the edge of a rooftop like a stray cat, Rassa watched as the oaf proposed his plans to the unsavoury characters he seemed to call 'friends'. All things considered, it wasn't a bad plan. At the very least Ewan had avoided the Token District all together. The one thing he'd failed to consider however, was that the Token Trading Company was a vast existence, and Jeremiah was just one captain. It was unlikely that one failed shipment would effect them. Rassa couldn't deny thought that Jeremiah's reputation would take a blow.
In all this, Rassa still wasn't entirely sure why he cared. In the end, he'd simply decided to go along with it. If anything it would alleviate some of his boredom. Despite what he knew however, he couldn't exactly interfere without cause. His particular...methods...wouldn't be limited to shadow magic, and the more skilled he was the more attention he would draw to himself. It was hardly a desireable outcome when he was doing his best to stay under the radar.
Still, Rassa couldn't help but think to himself as he watched Ewan's obsessiveness take a step past logic.
Ewan was perhaps the first human that Rassa regretted not draining dry when he'd had the chance. The Doctor didn't count, he'd been too tainted for even a monster like Rassa to risk taking a bite.
When Jeremiah awoke the morning before he was due to leave Port Lovolon, he found a note rest on the table beside his cot, written in elegant script Jeremiah had only ever seen from the hands of revered nobles. He frowned, wondering how by the gods the note had made it into his Cabin on the Miranda without him or any of his crew taking notice of the messenger.
The answer became clear when Jeremiah read the note.
-Best keep an eye on your cargo, P
While it had confused him at first, his mind still foggy with sleep, he'd eventually connected the dots. If Jeremiah got the chance in future, he'd have to return the favour of this interesting young man. He rose from his cot and went to work.
"Are you sure we can trust this guy at his word, Captain?" asked Aaron. Despite the tip off that Phil had given them about Peony, Aaron was far less inclined to trust after he'd somehow made it across the harbour and onto the Miranda and past all of those sailors on watch before getting to the Captain's cabin the previous night, then he'd just disappeared again.
This 'Phil' guy, shadow magician or not, seemed to have some pretty shaky motivations. Why was he even helping out in the first place? As far as Aaron could tell, he and his companion had no connection to either the Token Trade Company, Jeremiah or Ewan. Aaron could not help but feel suspicious that this Phil guy wanted something from the Captain, and that didn't sit well with Aaron.
Still, the Captain seemed to think the opposite. He didn't elaborate nor explain his reasoning, he just insisted that while they could, they'd taken advantage of the advice given to them.
This was why, under the late afternoon sun, they were waiting on the main trade route into Port Lovolon for their Cargo to arrive so they could escort it all the way to the warehouse.
It seemed overkill to Aaron, but like always, he trusted that his Captain knew the best course of action. Even if that action rested on the word of a source with questionable motives.
The Captain looked over in answer to Aaron's question.
"Well they're late," Aaron insisted, "Hargreeve said they'd be here a little after midday, it's nearly sunset".
Jeremiah had to agree with that, they were hours later than expected. They'd be loading in the morning at this rate, which was less than ideal. Jeremiah sighed, "Alright, Tank, Porter, you two go on ahead and check to see if you can see anybody on the road".
The two in question stood up to follow orders, then as they began to set off, a merchant's cart rounded the corner in the distance.
Jeremiah nodded to Tank and Porter and the two jogged over to meet the merchant in question. Their waving arms a few minutes later confirmed the cargo had arrived.
Jeremiah sighed, "About time, now lets get it down to the docks safely".