23. Crustaceans and Cats (part 2)

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“Remind me why I'm doing this again, why I'm scaling down two lengths of rope and a hand full of logs to put a piece of untested technology on the enemy's ship ─ without any weaponry protection. I still can’t believe you made me leave my sword up there,” the captain complained as they dangled from the side of the Azure Conquest above Kronos' Return.

“I told you already, El─”

Captain Stirling!

“─ your sword would only add extra weight, and you don't need protection. These 'ropes and logs' are enchanted. As long as you have a hold on them, the corsairs won't be able to see you; you'll be invisible to any man or woman that is not in contact with the ladder.”

“Great. So if I slip and fall, I'll have two dangers to worry about ─ being attacked by filthy, thieving men, and plummeting to my death.”

Oh please, El, you've always been an expert climber; you and I both know that you won't fall. Besides, you've got me, and even if you didn't, a cat always lands on her feet, right?”

“Would you stop calling me that?” she sputtered.

“Why? I gave you that nickname the day we met!”

“And don’t you think it’s getting old? I’m not a cat! There is nothing feline about me!”

“Hmmm,” he mused playfully, “physically flexible and agile, possesses a fondness for heights, often expresses herself with a nonchalant attitude, and hisses when under stress. You're right, that doesn't sound cat-like at all. What you're missing is a tail and a pair of fuzzy, pointed ears.” Frazzled, the captain shut her mouth, knowing that the more she argued the longer his teasing would continue.

Save for the occasional bird that passed by, screeching in their faces, the remainder of the duo's journey down the length of rope was rather uneventful. They arrived at the ship's base, caked over with dust and genuine crustatum caelum, with ease, and hoping their luck would last, the two quickly thrust the CGTD into place and began their ascent back up the ladder.

Her bitter grousing never ceasing, Captain Elden found a new topic to assert, “So, my prince, do tell me why you didn't think of stationing this barnacle chip on the assassin's ship when you had much better access to it on top of the mountain.”

Oh,” he giggled, “I suppose you could say I was a little preoccupied?”

“Preoccupied?” she exasperatedly questioned. “Knowing you, my first guess would be that it was a girl who'd caught your fancy, but what are the chances of you finding a maiden like that on top of the tallest mountain in the world, right?”

            “Well...” he bit his lip.

The End

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