(This chapter is dedicated to Mr.Fisherman, who likes it bloody)

The waters had been calm from Popping to Celosia. It unnerved Simeon.
                What got him most, was that the fishermen and merchants he had spoken to whilst traversing the lengths of the two rivers had reported criminal activities. So where were these sea bandits?
                Parts of Simeon thought himself lucky. Fighting on a river was much more difficult than on sea where his Goddess, the water, was more biased in her direction, fighting upstream he would be at a serious disadvantage.
                Then he figured out it had been so long since he’d held his loving falchion in his hand, he’d love to sink it into a man’s belly. He craved to kill.
                No indeed, he was fast approaching the Heart Lake, partially obscured by a thin veil of autumn, early morning mist.
                It suddenly struck him that if a ship were to strike, the lake would be a perfect place to do so. On there the ship would prowl in wait, her starboard side laid bare, her archers smirking, shooting fire on the still waters whilst the victim ran against the current to reach her. Simeon had to be prepared for this. It was inevitability.
                Red Reaver crawled forwards as her oarsmen worked her up the waters.
                His mind raced through the plethora of tactics he could adopt. He’d been part of many scraps in his time, he’d done and had done to him many things when it came to these naval fights, and whilst he generally tried to avoid them, after all crew, ships and treasures were more welcome than cuts, sinks and near misses, they always seemed to find him.
                His men were skilled, each a veteran of the sea, ready to die in the name of plunder. They each trusted him and his experience, each knew exactly what he could do.
                “Sorry.” He muttered as he stared out from the prowl, and stroked her rail. “Have her face a north easterly direction.” He called out. His first mate scuttled over to his side.
                “North east Captain?” he frowned then; Simeon couldn’t help but show a grim smile. “I thought we were headed for the capital?”
                “We are.” The man looked confused but went about his business anyway.
                Simeon thanked the stars that the Wineway was one of the widest rivers in Louena as they kept on track.
                Finally the lake was in view.
                Simeon narrowed his eyes as he could see nothing.
                Was he mistaken?
                Maybe the pirates were fools. Maybe they were cowards, oft the ship could gain as much fame as her Captain, even if he had scrubbed her named off and painted over the top of it, it still had the same unique shape. Pride of Popping, what a stupid name, fucking Garrin.
                First thing he’d do once he reached Louen would be to find a good whore and drown himself in pleasure and ale—
                “Sir!” His first mate shouted. At first he thought it nothing more than a particularly dense patch of mist, but the shadow soon began to take shape, a big shape, a big ship!

The End

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