| That evening when they sailed into port Crow sat on one of the rails. “Are you sure you want to do this?” Aqerious asks haven been told what the boy planned, and haven grow rather fond of him, was a bit worried, not that he would show it. “You know that should she catch you I cannot interfere. It goes against the rules.” “Yeah, I know “ Crow answers, haven gotten used to the captain talking about the rules like something would happen if he didn’t follow them. “Well I’ll see you later.” He says moving to the ramp when the boat docks.
“Just answer one thing.” Aqerious commands. “What?” he says turning back around. “What makes you so sure you can win?” “A pretty girl told me so.” He answers smiling. “A pretty girl.” Aqerious repeats corking up his eyebrow at the boy. “Yeah, that’s all I remember really. Some girl told me before I left that I would come back and win against the sorceress. Now that I think about it. I don’t think I ever knew her name, she came the day I left.” He says scratching his head trying to remember. “So you’re basing your entire actions on the word of some girl you can barely remember?” Aqerious asks again confused. “Yeah, it looks that way.” Crow says smiling. “You’re nuts.” he stats flatly. “You’re only now figuring that out.” Crow laughs.
“I thought I taught you better then this.” Aqerious says still frustrated. “Don’t worry you did.” Crow tries to reassure him. “The memory of the girl only lets me know I will win. It’s not the reason why.” “Then what is the reason.” He asks trying to figure this kid out. Something he hadn’t been able to do in the last ten years, he had certainly found a strange entity in this boy. “I’m going because I know if I don’t I’ll never get out from under her. I want to know I’ll never have to worry about her again.” Crow says trying to make the captain understand. Shaking his head he nods his understanding of that at least. “Thanks Captain.” Crows says walking down the plank again.
* * *
It felt strange walking down these old roads again. Somehow still fresh in his memory. Finding the old bakery, he sneaks into the basement. It was a bit harder then it used to be; after all he was a lot smaller then. Finding the hidden door into the tunnel that lead to the catacombs he walked down the dark tunnel. Nearing the end he sees a light at the end. Freezing for a moment he wonders who could be down here. “It’s just me.” A young female voice sounds down the tunnel. Not figuring any use in hiding, he walks down the rest of the tunnel.
Pulling the old tapestry aside he sees a girl sitting on a rug, a fire built up in the middle of the floor, and on the other side of the room an older looking woman, who even with the extra scars, Crow would know anywhere. “Naree!” he says surprised walking over to her. “He’s here right on time.” She says smiling over at the girl. “Who’s this?” he asks looking at the girl on the floor, “a pretty girl” he thinks to himself. “You don’t remember her. Granted she was a bag of skin and bones and 10 years younger when you last saw her. Druw stand up girl; let him get a better look at you.” Naree says to her, but it wasn’t necessary. “That seer girl.” He says completely surprised. “Now that’s not very polite.” Naree scolds. “I’m …I’m sorry she looks so… different.” “I would say so and so do you.” Naree notices. “Oh… do I?” he asks not really haven thought about it.
“Yes you have. The mistress probably won’t have any clue who you are when she sees you.” Druw says bringing up the subject. “Now you had to go and bring that up didn’t you?” Naree scolds. “Yes, you know that’s why he’s here and so does he.” Druw says, her eyes saddening. “Yeah, that is why I’m hear. Anyway I can get a hint as to how I’m supposed to do this.” “Sorry, you’ll know what to do when the time is right.” “How did I know you were going to say something like that.” He sighs.
She just smiles at him. “I can tell you one thing. You wont be doing it tonight.” She stats. “Oh. And what makes you say that?” he challenges. “Because you cant face her force for force. And you know it. Which means you’ll have to think of a plan, and to do that you’ll have to find out how things have changed, what her habits are, and find any advantages you may be able to get.” She lists off. “And will I be getting you excellent guidance in this matter?” he asks her coyly. “That you will. And the help of the closest thing to a mother we’ve ever had.” “Now don’t be calling me a mother. I’m still to young for that nonsense.” Naree protests which sends them all into fits of laughter.
Being the first to calm down “Now you two get going. The misses thinks she’s in bed so you’ll have all night.” Naree states, getting up and heading up the stairs. “Go where?” Crow asks. “Come on.” Druw says pulling him through the tapestry. “Where are we going?” he asks again refusing to move and surprised when he can feel himself being pulled across the floor. “You don’t want to stay here in the catacombs all night now do you?” She states. “Well no.” he answers honestly “And I’ve never been outside except in my visions. I want to see It.” she states again. “There’s not much to see.” He amends trying to make sure she’s doesn’t end up disappointed. “Easy for you to say; some one whose been sailing around to different places for the last ten years.” She scolds. “Okay. But you’re going to be disappointed.” He warns. “Whatever, come on.” She says again running down the tunnel when she feels him finally moving.
* * *
Making it to the street, he stares confused as she goes nuts. “Good thing everyone’s gone for the evening.” he thinks to him self looking around and not seeing anyone in sight. He laughs at her as she sticks her head underneath the cloth hanging from one of the booths. “You shouldn’t do that. A lot of the shopkeepers put protection spells on their booths at night.” He says remembering from experience. “Actually, a lot of them got lazy and stopped using them after your gang left.” She tells him. “Really, I didn’t know we had made them so nervous.” “It was kind of funny actually. The guards tried to take the credit for scaring all of you off. Said their excellent vigilance and tracking ability made you all too scared to keep stealing here.” “And did anyone actually believe that.” “I don’t think they cared. All they cared about was the fact that they didn’t have to worry about gang raids anymore.” “And no other group has moved in?” he asks surprised. “Actually a group like what yours was doesn’t come up very often; too much adolescent immaturity running around.” She smiles. “Really, I was immature then was I.” “Yes, and you still are.“ she smiles at him coyly. “True.” And he smiles back.
Kicking her feet up she runs down the street. “Come on.” She calls to him when she notices that he’s not following. Holding back a chuckle he walks after her taking his time about it, “Don’t be in such a hurry. It’s not like we’re actually going anywhere.” “So? I want to see as much as I can.” “Why?” “Because after tonight I don’t know when I’ll be able to see it again.” “What do you mean by that?” he asks confused, “You seen something that tells you something bad’s going to happen.” “Not exactly. I don’t really know what it means.”
“Are you ever wrong?” he asks curious. “No, I’ve never been wrong, but I don’t see everything ether. Like I knew you were going to come back, and I know your going to fight the sorceress and win, but I don’t know how you’re going to do it.” she give as an example. “You had to bring that up didn’t you?” he groans, thinking again of the upcoming fight. “I got a question. What if I ‘don’t’ fight her. Say I just stay on the ship until it leaves, and never fight her. What then.” “It wont happen.” She states flatly. “Yeah, I know.” He gives in, “I was just wondering.”
He grows quite for a time; watching her look around like a little child. “Is all of this really so interesting.” He asks not being able to comprehend. “Yes, I suppose it seems strange to you. After all you’ve been to Kartawn, the Igtoga islands, the Tianiate desert…” How do you know all that?” he interrupts her. “Just because you’re far away doesn’t mean I can’t find you.” She says smugly. “You’ve been watching me all these years.” “Well, yeah, a little. Naree wanted to know how you were every once in a while, and you went to so many places I used you to take me there so I could see it,“ and she smiles. “But seeing it through a vision can’t compare to actually being there.” She admits. “Oh.” He says kind of understanding what she means. “I have to admit,” She continues, “I liked watching you. You were always doing something. Life was never boring like it is here.” She says looking around her self. “That’s true.” He says after thinking about it for a minute.
They both grow silent for a long time, just walking along, Crow every now and then looking over at her; a strange feeling twisting his stomach when he did, and completely oblivious to the fact that she felt the same thing when she looked at him. Walking to the stables he lends against one of the supports and watches as she moves down the stalls petting the heads of the horses still awake, the lamps lighting up the red highlights in her black hair. Swallowing at the sight he starts to feel uncomfortable, but for the life of him, he can’t figure out why.
Walking back to the entrance she‘s almost to him when she trips. Rushing forward he grads her, a steadies her back on her feet. “Are you okay?” he asks. “Yeah fine.” She says, looking up into his face their eyes meet. “That’s… good.” he says slowly. She slowly bends forward and before he can stop himself he kisses her. Pulling back a little in surprise he looks at her face for a reaction. “The stall next to us is empty.” She says smiling. “So it is.” He replies not bothering to look. Reaching forward he opens the door and gently guides her in, not letting her out of his embrace. Setting her down in the hay, he sits down next to her and takes her head in his hand. Reaching forward he kisses her again but backs off for a second. “Should we be doing this.” he asks. “Yes.” she answers simply. “Well, who am I to argue with that.” He says and kisses her again. Placing her hand on his shoulder, she pulls him forward and lays him down never leaving his mouth. Slowly they start to undress each other. Throwing their cloths in a pile; they continue to kiss and caress each other. And... well... you know the rest.
That night they fall asleep in each others arms only to awake that morning to watch the sun come up. They barely get out of the stables before the stableman comes out to give the horses their morning feed. Running through the streets laughing they watch the shopkeepers open up there booths when a sudden thought comes over him. “We need to get you back to the manor. If she wakes up and finds you still missing she’ll blow.” A panicked expression comes over her face, and they book it down the street. But it’s already too late.