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Nature Abhors a Vacuum

“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 either, Sayana,” Aiden replied, ignoring
Pacian‟s smirk. “It's just like Bracksford, with nice, friendly people walking around.
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 said, suppressing a smile. “It's a bit paranoid to constantly assume
everyone is out to get you.”
“Hey, just because you're paranoid, doesn't mean they're not out to get you,” Pacian
corrected. “Stay sharp and yell out if there's any trouble Sayana, I'll come help if you
need it.”
“Just don't set anyone on fire and I'm sure we'll be fine,” Aiden added. They
continued on for a little way down the road until they arrived at the Seaspray Inn, a huge
wooden building that had clearly been added to over the years. They could also see the
bustling docks, less than a hundred yards away. The crashing of the waves against the
shore was quite loud, yet another thing that spooked Sayana. She stared at the surging
grey waters in fascination.
Stepping through the front door of the inn, the smell of pipe smoke and r um
permeated the air. Dozens of patrons milled around in the common room. Some were
seated at tables with large tankards grasped in both hands, while others sat at the bar. All