They leave before dawn, just before the sun can rise and turn the sky purple and pink with her bright arms of light, and leave through Shaemoor heading East. The wound hasn’t healed completely, and he’ll be okay with that for the time being — he’ll make do when he can, and they have the materials to keep him whole should it come down to that. 

But they have a direction. And Soha has her bloodhound. 

He doesn’t like the implications of that. 

“If she is your old Quartermaster, how did she survive?”

Ironwood shrugs. “I went down on the first half” he starts, eyes darting across the horizon past the swamp and the hills that separate the land, “My first mate did too. Beltine was the supposed organizer of the mutiny, and of anyone? I’m not surprised it her”

“She’s certainly been making a name for herself in recent years”

“Not surprised. She wanted in on whatever that Scarlett had brewing, she’d want something greater after she was gone”

Soha hums thoughtfully in response, and Jesse looks at her for once. No banners, no sigils or insignias — he could almost believe that Soha was a real person, if just for a moment, just another citizen of the Crown. A woman on her way to somewhere far from here, maybe dreaming of adventure, but still she wears the hardened face of a soldier, a dedicated hand of justice. The hand that holds his leash.

He shoulders his pack again. 

“Rumor has it, her ship is docked off the coast around Bloodtide, the Cormorant–“

“She has a boat?

“Shocking, isn’t it?” she smiles, haughty and acidic while he scowls and laments. She’d always been pragmatic and ruthless, and he wonders why he hadn’t picked up on such a mean streak sooner. Blinded by his goals, perhaps. Maybe just blind in general. 

They travel in silence for a relatively long time, heading South into Kessex and picking up on whatever trail she might have left, racing towards the North entrance of Lion’s Arch and skirting through past the cattle pen — Trouble was missing, and briefly Jesse wonders if there’s been some development. Cirice is happy enough to see her hero for the time being.

“We could cover more ground with raptors — I’m sure the crown has a few stashed away somewhere

“And we’d give away our positioning. If you’ve got her… marked, or whatever, that’s good enough. She’s running scared, and we need to cut her off before she gets further South”

“Which is why I’m sayin’ that they’d be a good idea”

Her brow knits together, she runs a hand through her hair and drops it very suddenly. “Later” A pause, and a nervous glance, “It’d be my first time, I don’t want to risk losing her. C’mon. We’re losing daylight”

Just for a moment, he thinks he likes her well enough. 

Author quorgi
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