The Silver Heron

 “Two hundred bronze orbs,” Captain Briar Suinar Leo told the man in green robes.

“Two hundred!?” the man yelled out, causing several passing mounseiken to look there way. Leo already had told this man the price twice now, yet he still thought acting like an marked fool about it would change the captain of the Silver Heron's mind. “Do you know who I am?”

The captain just smiled. He had heard this several times today. Contestants of the Great Race, mostly made up of high class men and women, all trying to get a discount price for a trip across the ocean to the center of the three Isles of Murdos. They all had brought up who they were related to, or what names they had been honored with, thinking that Captain Leo gave a scarring care.

“Look,” Leo said once more, “I don't care that you're the prince of whatever country. I have to pay for my crew's meals and the Silver Heron's upkeep. If you can't accept that price, then off with you!” The man put his nose higher in the air and snorted, then walked off. Captain Leo almost laughed, then tossed a silver orb to his navigator, Rosa Sagewood. He had bet her that the 'prince' couldn't get his nose any higher. Her long black hair swung side to side as she shook her head in humor.

“And another customer who wants a free ride on the greatest ship in the Isles of Murdos,” Vayros Drak said from behind Captain Leo. The silver haired man always snuck up on Leo, ever since he had let Vayros on board.

“Seems like it,” Leo replied, “They all think I'll care who they are related to. I don't care if Murdos herself walks down here, if I don't get my pay, I won't set sail.” A few other men walked by, all of them glancing at Vayros. Leo really didn't even bother to tell them he was human. The man was nearly twice the size of anyone else Leo had ever seen, with the brain of a mechanic to boot, making him extremely useful as Leo's engineer.

Rosa, on the other hand, was a beauty unlike any other. If the crowds weren't impressed by Vayros' muscles, then they were captivated by her looks. Leo had used the two of them to court potential customers, especially since the Great Race had already started. Many racers would be, and had been, captivated by strong crewman and a beautiful woman when looking for a ship to cross the serpent infected waters of the Great Southern Ocean.

Well, it helped that Leo's ship, the Silver Heron, was famous.

“Look,” Rosa said seductively, “here comes two more.”

Sure enough, two men in large cloaks walked up to Leo. He noticed their size first. One was a larger man, though nowhere near as large as Vayros, while the other was smaller, making the gender hard to tell. Their faces were covered completely, so they were either on the run, or just in trouble with the wrong people. The way they walked, though, stood out more than anything.

One walked with ambitious pride, the other with insecurity.

“What can I do for you?” Leo asked, ignoring Rosa's glare. He didn't need to use manners on any customers until they paid.

The larger of the two pulled his hood off, revealing a familiar face.

Exceed Frae.

The End

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