Hello everyone, I'm back after a very long hiatus. Sorry that it took me so long to start writing again, unfortunately life got in the way (as it so often tends to do) and I had to get my new job in order as well as get myself settled in the new country that I now live in: China!
I wanted to thank all of my amazing reviewers for all of their support. A shout out goes to Aimi, boop, Annaliesmarie, BeyondMyReach, BlueScilla, Silver starslin, jd, LadyoftheHouseofMoon, and Merilsell. You guys have been amazing and your comments have helped me get back into the writing groove. I dedicate this chapter to all of you.
Chapter 3: Stowaways
"What are they doing to her?" Kourin demanded, her voice high with fear as she stared up at the ship that Shuurei had boarded. The two men accompanying her appeared to be the same ones that Eigetu had pickpocketed earlier that day.
"Nothing yet," Eigetsu replied while struggling to hold her back by the wrist.
"We have to save her!" The sight of her beloved Shuurei, one of the very few people who Kourin considered to be her 'real' family, being surrounded by a fearsome band of cutthroats was enough to make Kourin`s heart pound straight out of her chest.
"We need to tell the authorities, we can`t do anything on our own." Eigetsu insisted, trying to steer Kourin in the direction of the marketplace and failing.
"No, we don`t have time! Those pirates could leave any minute, and we don`t even know where they're going! Plus, who'd pay attention to a couple of street brats?" Receiving silence as her reply, Kourin nodded her head for emphasis. "Nobody, and you know it. We have to save Shuurei ourselves."
"Kourin, they will kill us! You can`t just walk up and demand that they let Shuurei go! In a best case scenario they'd just kidnap you as well."
"I`m not saying that we confront them, but we need to at least know where they're heading. If we don`t find out, then nobody will be able to follow them."
"Fine," Heaving a sigh, Eigetsu ran a hand through his messy hair. "I'll see if I can get close enough to hear what they`re saying. Maybe I can learn where they're taking her." Seeing Kourin nod in acceptance, Eigetsu looked at her wearily. Why was she agreeing so easily?
"You stay here, I`ll be right back." For some reason, the fact that she didn`t argue made him uneasy. However, this was no time to worry about Kourin`s strange behaviour, she was probably simply worried.
Eigetsu returned an hour later to inform Kourin that he'd been unsuccessful. The ship was being guarded too well, he couldn't get close enough to hear anything. Unfortunately, upon returning to the the exact spot where they had parted, he was faced with a bigger problem - Kourin was missing.
"Darn it." Eigetsu had a sneaking suspicion that despite their agreement to not do anything rash, Kourin had gone ahead and done just that. "Where could she be?" Eigetsu worried, running a hand through his hair. Never before had he so greatly wished to be three feet taller. If only he could see over the heads of all these people...
The ship! Kourin wouldn't hang around here, she was bound to be somewhere near the ship!
Narrowly avoiding a sailor carrying a heavy crate, Eigetsu weaved through the crowd as quickly as he could. If he took the most direct route to the ship he could get there in seven minutes, rather than fifteen. However, that meant he'd be getting in the way of sailors who were rushing to load their cargo.
Eigetsu dodged around sailors as they loaded cargo onto ships, trying to meet deadlines for immediate departures. He could hear voices calling out orders; some were criticizing the way their loads were being handled, while others tossed insults back and forth.
"Damn this thing is heavy," one of the sailors passing Eigetsu complained to his comrade, as they carried a barrel each.
"Watch it kid!" Eigetsu barely moved out of the way in time to avoid getting knocked to the ground. A group of sailors carrying barrels rushed past, not even sparing a glance for the youth who stood rubbing his face where the wood had left its mark. If his face hadn't been so near to the barrel he might have missed the sound that came from it when it hit him. It squeaked. Not a mouse squeak either, but a human sound, like that of surprise. And the voice it was in was none other than the very same girl that Eigetsu had been so desperately searching for. Oh for the love of... Eigetsu resisted banging his head on the nearest object in irritation.
He watched them load the barrels onto the very same ship that Shuurei had boarded. According to what he had heard, the ship that Shuurei was on -the 'Iris', would be leaving in an hour. The last of the provisions were being loaded on. If he was to protect Kourin from her impulsive behaviour then he needed to catch his ride. Without another glance at the ship Eigetsu snuck back to where the various sized barrels stood awaiting their fate. Eigetsu sighed in defeat and set about emptying the one nearest to the water.
I want to apologize for the much shorter length of my chapter then what I used to write. As it's been a while since I last wrote creative fiction, I'm still trying to get used to it. Rather than making all of you wait - God knows how long -until I'm done the full chapter, I figured I will change the chapter's title with each new scene that's added, in a similar manner that I do for my fic "Altered Fates". That way when you see a different scene name attached to the title, you will know that it has been updated. (Or you could simply look and see if the number of words has increased).
Either way, here is the first scene of Chapter 3.
Reviews are always welcome - they are the metaphorical bread and butter that keep me going in tough times.