So his men readied the ships and he was able to continue with his job. Pride of popping manoeuvred the lake and docked in the city. It was a massive harbour, enough to shelter at least thirty galleys and the space to move them. It even had a great vista. In the distance was The Maw. The two points of land were Westguard and Northguard almost met. The gap was so small, it was only large enough to fit one galley comfortably through, an excellent strategic advantage, Simeon supposed.
            The maw itself was two sheer cliff faces, like great, rocky curtains parted just enough to watch the sun fall underneath the world. It was an astounding sight, so huge were the mountains that it hurt your neck to see to the top.
            Simeon finished admiring them, a sight he would never cease to be awed by as long as he lived, and paid the officers. These ones didn’t give him much trouble, he imagined they saw such a vast quantity of sailors and their ships that it was hard to remember which ones they ought to fear, and he hoped he was sufficiently disguised by now in any case.
            “What brings you here?” the officer asked eventually.
            “Come to take advantage of the tournament.” Simeon offered truthfully, then called out for his men to begin unloading the crates.
            “Oh aye, how so?” The officer raised an eyebrow, and it was hard to tell whether that was a gesture of suspicion or general curiosity.
            “Selling goods, a good day when a national event puts money in a poor mans pocket.” He snorted and the officer smiled. An actual smile, well what do you know?
            “There’s some truth to that. Happy selling to you.”
            A pleasant, amiable customs officer? Simeon thought, then he frowned as he walked up the docking. No fucking way, that was far too easy, and besides, good officers don’t exist. Was it possible, was this man bought and paid for too? Simeon couldn’t help but wonder. How far does Garrin’s corruption spread? Although Simeon had to admit, he had trouble believing this was only Garrins doing, that man used to be as dumb as a horses turd, aint no way he has the wit to pull something like this off. But he had been wrong before, Simeon supposed, like thinking him dead.
            It didn’t matter, he was here now, and he just had to get on with what he’d been told to do. No matter what that thing was, none of it had any bearing on him. He was a corsair and therefore he had no ties or loyalty to the crown, just get on with it.
            But then what, Simeon wondered. He did the job, then would he have two targets on his head? After all he knew how this worked, he knew all too well. Garrin would know that Simeon had knowledge of what had happened, even though he understood nothing that was going on. His mere existence would be a threat, and Garrin was a greedy man too, he’d want Simeon’s share like he always had. Add those to the fact that he knew Garrin wanted revenge, and his fears were a certainty. The Pirate King and Garrin would the both of them want him dead. He may as well go lie in a grave right now and save them the trouble of doing the deed.
            No, I aint no coward, I’ll survive this like every other thing I’ve ever done.
            Simeon would finish his job and get paid, willingly or no, he’d have his money.
            As he moved the crates with his crew however, he started to reflect. Everything had come down from that one job all those years ago, when he’d watched the waters take his beloved ship.

The End

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