The farmhouse was set in the middle of the surrounding fields, a small plot of land had been set aside for the Windglider.
It had looked smaller from the hill, up close, it towered above Nerui and Deadrick, the balloon was huge, made from a rough, carefully cut and tightly woven material.
The ship itself looked big enough to hold at least seven passengers with ease, at the front, an intricately carved dragon’s head gazed defiantly into the distance. The deck was wide, in the centre was the flame, that, when lit, would fill the balloon and lift the Windglider into the air.
There was podium at the front with a thick wooden wheel that would shift the rotor to change direction.
A sheltered area at the back held seven hammocks where the crew could sleep away from the elements.
“He must use it to transport his exports, bit extravagant, dontcha’ think?” Nerui said, running her finger along the smooth wood.
Deadrick didn’t reply.
“It takes a good few seconds to heat up, long enough for the farmer to set his dogs on us. He won’t be able to shoot us down, that’s for sure, the balloons too thick,” Nerui said, looking over at the farmhouse. Behind a pane of glass and a thin pair of curtains, light could be seen pouring out. It was early in the morning, but around the right time for a farmer to be starting his day.
“Right. Get on board, start heating it up, I’ll keep him at the door,” Deadrick said, a plan hatching in his head.
“Just do it,” Deadrick ended the conversation stone dead. He waved Nerui’s attempt to restart it off and strode towards the house.
The farmer was emerging from the door as Deadrick greeted him. He was an overfed man, with red cheeks and a piggy nose. Deadrick had just invented the phrase ‘you are what you farm’.
“Who are you?” The farmer demanded.
“Greetings, I am Gadrick, inquisitor for the council,” Deadrick lied, the Council would probably ignore the farmer when he reported the Windglider missing, but there was still a chance he could be implicated if he used his real name.
“An Inquisitor? Why are you here?” The farmer had backed off, citizens were just a little bit afraid of Inquisitors, afraid they might catch something that Deadrick worked with everyday.
“Been some sightings of Lycankin around your farm, have you noticed any sheep, pigs or children missing?” Deadrick was enjoying himself.
“No, but now that you mention it-“ the farmer was interrupted by a burst of flames from the Windglider, “Hey, somebody’s stealing my Windglider!”
Before the farmer could react, Deadrick pulled his gun from it’s holster and placed the intimidating end just inches from his face.
“Yes, and we’re going to continue to without interruption, if you try anything I won’t hesitate to put three bullets in you that will cause maximum pain and kill you in the slowest way possible,” Deadrick said sternly.
The farmer grunted for a moment in anger and frustration, balling his fists, but he relaxed after a moment.
“Thank you,” Deadrick holstered the gun, turned round and headed back to Nerui.
He climbed onto the ship, where Nerui had taken command of the wheel. The Windglider lifted upwards, skimmed along the ground for a moment, and took off into the air.
As they sped away from the farmer’s angry shouts and swears, Nerui turned the wheel and looked at Deadrick.
“Sorry, I don’t believe I caught your name,” She said.
Deadrick, without taking his eyes off of the horizon, replied, “I’m Deadrick. Deadrick Blade,”