User:Leonodas/The Journey, Chapter 1

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The Journey, Chapter 1

Codus let his gaze drift lazily over the Abecean, it's warmth resonating up to his tanned, youthful face. The ocean wind swept up the hair that usually covered his eyebrows and came down to his mid-neck.

The ship rocked in the breeze, and Codus's stomach turned. A shrewd laugh came from behind as he belched involuntarily.

It was the hoarse voice of Folsa Ienevala, the captain of the Mannanalit. Codus stared into her molten red eyes with faint chagrin.

"I take it you're not fond of the sea?" she asked, amused. But despite her delight, her ashen skin pulled tightly around her bones; years of misfortune and violence crisscrossed her hard features.

"I don't travel often," he replied.

"Quite obviously. You're hacking your belly out from just a little motion."

He waved that aside. "It's nothing. Just..."

"Just a land-loving Imperial, hmm?" He said nothing. "I know your type," she continued. "A snotty little human child with no knowledge of the world, no possible comprehension of any reality outside of his own protected life." Her amused expression had slowly withdrawn into a scowl, and beneath her harsh tone was definitely a hint of malice.

Codus straightened his back, trying to appear confident. "I don't know what your problem is with me, but you don't need to speak to me that way."

Folsa laughed once more, but this time it was devoid of humor; now, it was mocking, almost threatening. "You'd do well to watch your tongue on my ship," she said mercilessly. "I could have my crew throw you overboard. Of course," she added, "I'd make short work of you myself." She cackled, gripping the cutlass sheathed at her side casually.

Codus felt his body shaking; with fear, hurt, or fury, he could not tell. The entire voyage, and neither of them had spoken to another; yet now, in a short conversation, suddenly he was being threatened with getting thrown off the ship.

He did not reply to her. Could not.

She shook her head. "I suspected as much from you. But maybe it's for the best." She strode over to him, closer. She turned to look out over the calm waters, like Codus had-- except with admiration shining in her eyes.

"I've seen the great cities of Vivec and Mournhold, illustrious cities of fine Dunmer craftsmanship. Then I've seen the Imperial hold of Lilmoth, ancient and foreboding. I've been to the great ports of Leyawiin, Bravil, the Imperial City-- then I came around, to Illiac Bay, and to Anvil, the glimmering jewel of the Gold Coast. I've been everywhere, seen many things. I've seen good people. But more often I've seen bad ones, the ones that tore apart the good people like they were nothing. You'd do well to be careful how you act."

Codus didn't understand the point of her charade, and the previous rudeness. She had insulted him-- now she was trying to help him?

She shook her head. "I don't know where my mind's been. I go off." She looked him straight in the eye. "Watch yourself. There's something coming. Something big. Most people don't feel it, but the sea will tell you. It knows..." Ending abruptly, she walked off, into the captain's quarters.

A strange woman, to be sure. Codus tried to ignore what she had said to him, but it always stuck in his mind: A snotty little human child with no knowledge of the world, no possible comprehension of any reality outside of his own protected life. And-- what had she said, about something coming?

The Gold Coast was visible from where he was standing, albeit far off. Codus hoped they arrived in Anvil soon.