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Nature Abhors a Vacuum

it was refreshing and bitter at the same time. Aiden had been here once be fore, many
years ago when he was a child, but he had never forgotten that smell.
“So, this is Culdeny,” he told her, his breath misting in the chilly air. “Have you been
here before?” Aiden could see Sayana was clearly uncomfortable.
“I have never been out of the forests and hills,” she whispered. “People react badly to
me sometimes.”
“I can't imagine why,” Aiden remarked with a straight face. “I doubt anyone would
give you any trouble around here if you're with us. Just to be clear, if you want to return
to the wilds, feel free to do so.”
“There is nothing left to eat back there,” she shrugged after a moment of thought.
“You don't want to go back to your homelands?” Aiden inquired.
“I... no,” she hedged. Though he didn‟t let on, he could tell that she hadn't been
entirely honest in her response.
“Ah, it's nice to be home,” said Nellise wistfully. “And it‟s also nice to be walking
along streets that aren't up to my calves in water. I don't know about the rest of you, but
my boots are completely ruined.”
“Buy more then,” Colt advised absently. “Speaking of something to drink, I think I‟ll
catch up with the rest of you at the inn.”
“Which inn?” Aiden called out as Colt hurried away.
“The Seaspray Inn, just down the road towards the docks. Can't miss it.”
“We should probably stop by the mayor's office before we head there and finish up
for the day,” Aiden said thoughtfully. Nellise looked at him in astonishment.
“Looking like that, you wouldn't even be allowed past the front door. You and
Pacian both need to clean yourselves up, if you want anyone of high station to pay
attention to you.” Aiden glanced down at his apparel. He wasn't as dirty as Pacian, but he
was far from presentable.
“I suppose it can wait until the morning,” Aiden muttered. “He'll probably want
confirmation of the clear road from his own people anyway. Can you take us to that inn?”
“Yes it isn't far,” Nellise nodded, leading them along the cobblestone path. “I should
warn you though, it can be a little rough. The guard hinted at it back at the gate, but it's
not as bad as he suggested. It all depends on how many ships are docked, really.”
“Sailors I'm guessing,” Pacian said. “Probably rowdy after spending months at sea,
perfectly understandable.”
“What is a sailor?” Sayana asked. Aiden hadn't really been paying attention to her,
but now that he was, he could see she was very nervous. She walked in close step with
Aiden, glancing around at all the people walking about.
“A man who works aboard a ship. You know what one of those is, right?”
“No. Aiden, I do not like it here,” Sayana advised cautiously. “There are too many
people to fight.”
“You don't have to fight these people, Sayana,” Aiden replied, ignoring Pacian‟s
smirk. “Notice how we don't have swords sticking out of our bodies? That's because
they're not trying to kill us.” The sorceress gave him a blank look.
“You're mocking me, aren't you?”
“A little,” Aiden admitted. “It's a bit paranoid to constantly assume everyone is out
to get you.”
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