By Andrea Radius • All Rights Reserved ©
Once I was satisfied I had eaten all that I could from the apple and drank the very last drop from the water pouch, I began looking in the crates around me. However, all I found was more bottles of wine.
I then remembered that the captain wasn’t looking at those crates when he came to see if Lilenn had stolen something. Whatever is in here of real value, wasn’t near me. I also remembered them saying something about a trigger.
Instead of searching inside the crates, I looked on them for anything out of place. On two of them I found a thin rope, tightly placed between the lid hinges. Without knowing what to expect, I opened one of the crates with care and as far away from myself my arms would allow. The only thing that happened was a snapping sound.
When I examined the back of the crate, the tight rope had been cut and was hanging loosely. If the smugglers were to come here, they’d know this crate had been tampered with. Without much else I could do, I looked inside to see what was so valuable. What I found was cutlery, candle sticks, cups and chains. All of these objects had one thing in common: they were made of pure silver.
Silver wasn’t as valuable in Andal’Rel as other minerals, such as gold or jewels, but it stood its ground and you only saw high class and nobility owning silver pieces. My guess is that if silver was somewhat valuable in Andal’Rel, it had to be very valuable in some other place. If this what the captain wanted to make sure was intact, why not keep it in his quarters? I was sure he had to have some form of vault there. Unless he had even more valuable items in there taking up all the space… makes you wonder what that could be. Nevertheless, I took several pieces of tableware from just the one crate and left the other alone.
Not long after I had found the silver and hid back in my little corner, Lilenn returned. He had said that he wasn’t going to be long, but I had put the one crate back in its place just to make him take it down again.
I gave him the silver cutlery I had found and he studied the pieces. “Not bad,” he finally said. “It’s amazing that the simple thing some people use to cut their meat, others will want to pay a fortune for just because it was made by elves. What a crazy world.”
“You’ll keep your mouth shut now I take it,” I said as Lilenn began to walk away.
He turned around and gave me a very untrusting smile, “of course.”
As he was walking out I realized he was going to sell me out. He no longer had a need for me and the second he found it appropriate, he would announce that I was here. I needed a new place to hide. Fortunately, I had just the place in mind.
Lilenn had said he’d come back when supper was being readied, which meant they were going to share one last meal before docking. I had to make my move then.
I picked up Master’s journal and hid it inside my shirt, securing it with my belt. I then waited a while before I walked up the stairs and checked to see if no one was around. To my fortune, I had waited just long enough. After not seeing anyone in the vicinity of the cargo deck door, I got out and hid behind the main mast just like I had done the night before. I glanced in the direction of Lilenn’s quarters and once again I saw people through the one window, having a nice and delicious meal that made my stomach growl.
Shaking my head and moving my thoughts away from food, I moved toward Lilenn’s quarters and rushed inside. I found my knapsack in the same place Lilenn had left it the night before and got some of my rations out. After leaving the knapsack in the same spot where I had found it, I crawled under the bed. I ate as fast as I could to avoid chewing when Lilenn came back.
It was a while before the door opened up again and I recognized the boots on the floor as Lilenn’s. He sat on the bed, which thankfully was sturdy enough to not bend under his weight and crush me. He seemed to be going through something for a while before there was a knock on the door.
A smuggler was saying that the ship was about to dock and the captain was requesting Lilenn be ready to disembark.
Eventually, Lilenn gathered his sack and my knapsack and headed out of the room. Shortly after that, the ship seemed to steady itself. It was still rocking, but it was in such a soft manner it was almost unnoticeable. We had arrived to a dock.
Now, all I had to do was wait for him to tell them about me. It was inevitable that he’d betray me.
Or would he?
What if he doesn’t and someone comes to clean up his room and finds me? What if I got out of a perfectly safe place only to become trapped? What if–
“Everyone gather your weapons!” I heard the captain yell. He must have been very loud for me to hear him so clearly. “We have an intruder in the cargo deck!”
I don’t think I had even been so happy that someone had betrayed me. I waited for the stumping of boots rushing from here to there to stop before I took a look outside. When I did, I got a glimpse of the last smuggler going down to the cargo deck, sword drawn.
This was my chance to get out of this ship alive, and I took it. I quietly ran out of Lilenn’s room, through the main deck, and onto the docks. From there, I rushed into town and hid in an alley, with people around me not even sharing a glance.
Once I was safe and sure that no one was following me, I walked out of the alley and looked around me. I was surrounded by humans, and even they were taller than I was. They were all working, minding their business. The best part was that most of them had black hair just like mine. How crazy is it that back in Andal’Rel I was declared cursed, a target for torture and death for something that is perfectly normal here?
A young man spoke next to me and I jumped at the sudden approach. I was taken into my surroundings so deeply he managed to sneak up on me without trying.
“I don’t understand,” I said. I was both surprised to be engaging in a normal conversation with another black-haired individual out in the open and confused since I had no idea what he had just said. Humans speak several different languages depending on their region or nation. I was so anxious to get out of Andal’Rel I didn’t even bother to study a single one of those languages.
“You help?” he said in a very broken Andalarian. “Inn? You inn?” he must be offering to help me show me the nearest inn, which gave me an idea.
“Yes! Where is the inn?” I asked him, nodding fiercely just in case he didn’t understand me.
“Down street, two left, one right, three building,” the man politely said. If Andalarian was a living being, it would be dead and mutilated by now. However, I appreciate this man’s intentions.
Nodding my thanks, I walked down the street and made a left on the second corner, then turned right on the first, and finally stopped at the third building. A large sign read something I couldn’t comprehend, but it had a carving of a mug and a bed. This must be the right place.
The top half of the door had a window, and through it I could see what was a small tavern. Tables were mostly occupied, maids were running mugs of something from here to there and a kitchen could be partially seen hiding in the back. After the table rows but before the kitchen, I saw a very familiar figure with a traveling cloak, a sack, and a knapsack leaning on a counter with a man behind it.