266 A Ticket of Turmoil
Aegin had stayed hidden and silent in the shadows of one of the dockyards as he had waited for the dawn to rise. Still, but on the verge of impatience, he'd cast his mind again and again to the burn on his skin, and the shutting down of his very soul. It had been the first time he'd felt a chill in months.
Since his rebirth, Aegin had never really put much thought into the black Life Lines that dominated his upper back. He'd covered them, unsettled to have them exposed, but he hadn't really considered their importance until he'd felt as if he'd been blocked from feeling them. To feel a part of himself vanish like that, even more an instant...as reluctant as he was to think about it, his mind could not help but wonder to the boy who'd spent six years in chains made from them. How had he survived it?
Just as quickly as the thought came, Aegin dismissed it. He didn't want to think of the Other.
As dawn approached, a large ship appeared on the horizon, pausing outside of the bay. It was indeed larger than any Aegin had ever seen before. The Yilish really did know how to build ships. It was almost a marvel that a ship that big still floated.
Though, if the rumours were to be believed, the Yilish had long put their minds to use rather than relying on the power of Magicians. In fact, Magicians were effectively outlawed in the southern nation. They also, much to Aegin's fortune, hated the Holy Order.
Aegin might have known little of the Holy Order, but he knew enough to know that it was, frankly, pissed at never having any influence to a nation that was so close in proximity to it. The story went that the early Kings of the Yilish people had been offended when the Holy Order declared their inventions dark and against the will of the gods. The Yilish, rather than cower in fear, denounced the Holy Order and cast them from their borders. Of course, the Holy Order had done a great job of suppressing the nation for some time. Yilennia was a nation towards the southernmost point of the southern continent, and it's only land border was with the Holy Empire. Hence, when they had cut ties, they had had to seek alternatives to go around the Empire. The obvious answer had been by sea.
Yilennia had no only the best ships, but the most developed naval power. Even the Holy Order could not stand against them there.
Aegin watched as the dawn broke and the docks awakened. Ferrying ships made their way out to the large Yilish Passenger ship and Aegin approached the merchant from the days before.
"It is as mighty as you said," Aegin stated easily, looking out to the ship. The Merchant startled a moment as he took in Aegin, then smiled in reply.
"Aye, it is, you've come early. You have no luggage?" asked the Merchant.
"Nothing worth taking," Aegin stated.
The Merchant nodded, "Sometimes it is good to start anew. We'll have to wait until the ferry returns to know for sure the pricing and any available tickets".
"Of course," Aegin replied.
The two waited in companionable silence, the Merchant working through the paperwork and Aegin watching the docks spring to life.
Finally, the ferry returned, Aegin relieved to hear that there were in fact spots available.
The Merchant smiled, "You're in luck, they are eager to move on seeing as they are behind schedule so have lower the price a little 18 gold for a shared room, 22 for one of your own".
Aegin contemplated for a moment before he nodded, "I'll take one of my own".
"Wonderful, of course, all meals are included, but any other facilities on board will have to be paid for in addition," stated the Merchant.
Aegin nodded in acceptance. He wouldn't even need the meals, though he'd likely have to put in an appearance so that the crew didn't get restless. He inwardly cringed for his poor tastebuds.
Ticket in hand, Aegin was informed that the ship would be taking passengers in the afternoon, so he had several hours to wait.
He ended up wondering the docks, contemplating going to look for another set of clothes with his last three coins. He ended up buying a full set for one of them, thinking that the two left would surely be enough for whatever he may need on the other end of his trip.
It was as he waited on his own by one of the buildings that he sensed them.
It wasn't like when he was hunting, this observation was more of a change he felt in the Mist. He'd realised the night before that if the Priests could track him through the change he caused in the mist, perhaps he could track them the same way. These presences he sensed were not as obvious nor glaringly bright as the other priests, but they were still present. Aegin's eyes scoured the crowd, locking onto a group of the local church workers. They may have seemed as if they were going about a daily walk, but the way their eyes darted. Aegin had been scolded for such things on more than one occasion in his youth.
Aegin had no intention of running away. He was just an hour or so from leaving. Still, it would do no good to tell the priests where he was headed, even indirectly.
Looking around, Aegin spotted another, smaller passenger ship. He made his way for it without hesitation, joining a small group that were near the dock master there.
"Where is this ship headed?" Aegin asked when he reached the front.
"To Port Lutte, three days North," said the dock master.
Aegin nodded, "How much is a ticket?"
"80 silver," the dock master stated.
A little steep for a three day journey on such a small ship, but Aegin wasn't about to complain. He handed over a gold coin and received his change and a ticket.
"We'll leave with the afternoon tide in a few hours, traveler," the dock master smiled.
Aegin gave a smile back, and as he turned, he caught the gaze of one of the priests who was shocked stiff for a moment before he quickly turned to mutter to his companions.
He scoffed at their amateurishness. Not obvious in the slightest.
Aegin risked letting his senses free for a moment, then headed for a nearby alley, the priests in subtle pursuit.