Chapter 3: Chapter 3

First, I want to thank everyone so much for reviewing! Because they need to get to Goldoa and I have to put at least one chapter about their travels, this one probably won't be action packed, but I'll do my best to give it a more dramatic effect, or at least as much as I can using Soren. Here's hoping I do well…

"Soren?" Ike leaned over the sage's bed, trying to read his sullen face. The young man grunted once, then buried his face deeper into the pillow. "You haven't gotten up all day."

"I'm not fond of boats." He gripped a handful of the blankets tighter.

They had been at sea for only three days and the voyage was a long one. Soren had remained in bed for the majority of their travels to that point, barely speaking and only eating when heavily provoked by his commander. Still he lied there, wrapped in a cocoon of sheets with eyes fixed blankly on the wall only several inches away from his face.

"You should try to move around some. It would make you feel better." Ike suggested, turning away.

"Ike, do you think we look alike?" The question came spontaneously without any real explanation.

"You and I?" The commander seemed puzzled. "I suppose we share the same likeness that we're both beorc, but otherwise…"

"Not us." Soren interrupted flatly. "That sub-human woman and I. As much as I don't like to admit it, we share a resemblance…"

"I can see it. You said it like it was a bad thing."

"Of course it's bad! To be an abomination is bad enough, but to be an abomination born to that woman?"

"Soren, she's a princess."

"That's what makes it worse. I was so little to her that she could send me away from the country. I was the same to her as I was to all the others…an abomination."

"If that's how she felt then she wouldn't be here now." He watched his staff sergeant intently, waiting for a sign of emotion that failed to come. With a sigh he leaned against the wall.

"Because she needs something now and she's alone. I owe her nothing. I'm contented where I am."

"I would hardly call you happy."

"Happiness isn't a necessity."

"You could at least speak to her about it. I'm sure there's a reason she did what she did."

"The last thing I want to do right now is listen to her incessant babbling. We're doing what she's paying us for. The rest is solely her affairs."

"Even still…if you two are related, that would make Kurthnaga your uncle. He's a friend from the war and possibly your family. Shouldn't we help him if he's in trouble?"

"Friend? I would hardly call him that. What did he do to earn such a title? We were allies. There's a difference. And my family? The only family I knew as I child was that hag that took care of me, that wizard and that tree I slept under… Even if we share a blood relation, I still don't owe him anything."

"He came to our aid. Now we should do the same for him." Ike protested, feeling his arguments gaining no ground though he was in charge.

"If that's how you feel, Ike, volunteer yourself to help them. I will gladly assist you but I have no intent of taking the role myself." His left arm twitched as his stomach churned from the rocking of the boat.

Ike thought a moment, trying to think of a more suitable point that would make Soren more willing to cooperate. "I'm sure the position would come with a fair amount of gold."

"The job we've taken on now will provide us with as much as we need to get the company back on its feet. The payment wouldn't be worth what we could potentially lose. If you are suggesting that we take on a role that provides us with a more constant pay, you should see Queen Elincia about again becoming general." The tone of his voice alone stated his mind wasn't about to change.

"I doubt the position would be a permanent one." The commander began to haggle. "Ena gave birth to Prince Rajairon's son. You could pass it on to him once he came of age."

"Their son is a dragon! Ike, do you have any idea how long it takes for dragon's to age? Even with part of my blood being their's, I would be long deceased before he could comprehend what it meant to rule a country."

"Then it has to be you. Who else could? Their pride won't let Almedha."

Soren sneered. "So what makes you think it would allow me? I would be accepting the role as her son, thus if she is shunned so would I be. I'm branded…. I'm…" He grew silent, then stopped speaking altogether.

"Soren?"

"Pelleas' father… it was supposedly Ashnard, correct?"

"Yes. What of it?" Ike answered casually, not seeming to make the connection.

"If I am her son, that would mean I'm also the son of…" His voice became harsher. "I refuse! There's no way they would accept the branded son of a traitor and the man who single handedly almost destroyed the continent! I want nothing to do with the title!"

"Soren…" Ike tried to sympathize. "It's yours by right. There's nothing they could do about it."

"I never said she actually was my mother!" He calmed himself, regaining his typical, blunt manner. "All I said was we looked alike."

Sorry it's a bit short. Not much for them to do on a boat besides get attacked, but I didn't want to go into an unnecessary battle scene that would be irrelevant to everything else.