Leon, the Mighty Gale Chapter 2
Escape from Reza
By Samara Secor
After a few uncomfortable hours in which Raven managed to keep his lunch to himself, the ship finally settled back into a gentle rocking motion. Its finally over. What a relief! Raven wiped the sweat off his brow and said, I guess this means that youre going to have to turn me over to your uncle now, doesnt it?
Yeah, but I think he can wait until youve cleaned up first. We can borrow a bar of soap and Ill stand guard over the washroom while you take a bath. As for clothing, youre a little bit smaller than me, but one of my spare outfits should work if you dont mind it being a little loose.
Thatll be just fine. Id prefer things a little loose anyway.
Its settled then! Leon stood up and tossed the backpack over to Raven. Wed better hurry before somebody else gets the idea of freshening up before the end of the voyage.
Leon leaned against the wall and tapped his foot. What could possibly be taking Raven so long? he wondered. Is he that scared about finding out what my uncles going to say? Then again, he was pretty filthy, so its probably just taking him longer. It doesnt make the waiting any easier though.
Just when Leon had begun doze off, the door finally opened, and Leon jerked himself back into reality. Well, you sure took long enough, Raven. Raven?!? Leons mouth hung open in disbelief. Youre a girl?
Well.... yeah, Raven blushed. I guess you couldnt tell under all the dirt. When you called me a boy, I just played along. Its not because I wanted to deceive you or anything, but....... Its a long story. Wed better go see your uncle, first.
Uh, sure. Right this way.
Captain Arek clasped his hands behind his back and paced the room as Leon told his story. When Leon had finished, Arek shook his head, Ye must have been purty desperate ta hide in one of me wine barrels, lass. Yer not hiding from an abusive parent or something are ya? If ya are, Ill go back ta Riviera and pound the cowards head in.
No, sir. Its nothing like that, Raven said, eyes flashing. My mother and father are two of the kindest people you could ever hope to meet. Theyre probably worried sick about me. You see, I was kidnapped by some thieves from Reza. They took me to a house out there and locked me up. I guess they were going to hold me for ransom. Youre probably not going to believe this, but after a couple of days....
Raven had almost given up. When the thieves had first locked her in there, she had been furious. She had pounded on the walls and yelled herself hoarse, but none of it had done any good. She sat down on the floor and let her chin rest on her knees. Her eyes had begun to cloud over with tears when she heard a small voice say, Dont cry. Ill get you out of here. We girls need to stick together.
Raven wiped her eyes with the back of one hand and looked up at the door. There, hovering between the bars on the window, she saw what appeared to be a flying cat the color of flame. Wh... who are you? Raven asked, rubbing her eyes again to make sure that she wasnt seeing things. And just how do you plan on getting me out? Ive tried everything, but even the most powerful spells Ive learned thus far wont even make a dent in the door.
Im Pyra, a baby red dragon. Whats yours?
Raven. Raven Ausa.
So, youre from Vane, huh? I thought that looked like wizards robes that youre wearing. The doors been magicproofed, so its not surprising that you werent able to do anything. Even the guildmaster would probably have trouble getting out of here unless he used a transportation spell. Anyway, as strong as they made this door, they couldnt protect against everything, Pyra chuckled and dropped out of sight.
Not too long afterwards, the lock on the door began to glow red. It got brighter and brighter until it started to melt, leaving a long trail of molten metal down the door. Pyras head popped back into view, and she said, Okay, you can push the door open, now. Just dont touch that metal. It wont be cooled off for quite a while.
Gingerly, Raven reached out and pushed the door. It opened without a sound, and Pyra said, Those Reza punks have gone too far, this time. When I tell my dad, hell hit the roof. Believe me, you do NOT want to get on his bad side. The last time he got mad at me, our whole cave pratically collapsed on us.
Your father must have quite a temper.
Pyra winked, Thats why the power that a Dragonmaster would get from us is called Dragon Anger. Now, come on. Wed better get moving before one of those jerks comes back to check on you or something.
The building the Raven had been imprisoned in seemed to be deserted. When Pyra and Raven took a closer look around, they could see why. There was only one door, which faced out onto the streets of the town. Other than the window near the front door, the only windows in the whole building led to a fifty foot drop outside the city walls. Oh, great! What good is getting out of the cell going to do me if I cant get down from here? Raven asked, frustrated that she was stopped within sight of freedom.
Theres got to be a way! If we could just make sure that everyones attention was focused on someplace else..... Pyra perched on Ravens shoulder and frowned. Well, I can think of one way, but my dad would definitely NOT approve. Melting the lock on a cell is one thing, but I dont think burning down a building would be considered an appropriate use of power, even if these people are a bunch of low lifes.
Burning down a building..... Raven thought for a moment and said, Do you think that the illusion of a building burning would work? Im pretty good at creating illusions. If I can concentrate hard enough, theyll even think theyre smelling smoke.
Hey, thats a great idea, Raven! Pyras eyes sparkled with mischief. Lets go back downstairs and try it out!
Crouching out of sight just beneath the window frame, Raven pointed toward the building and chanted. At first, only a thin stream of smoke curled out from part of the roof, but the stream soon became a dark column. Finally, the first orange-red flame appeared and multiplied until almost the entire roof was engulfed in flames. Outside, shouts erupted as people saw the spectacle and rushed to the scene, carrying sloshing buckets of water in each hand. After a couple of minutes, Pyra tugged at Ravens sleeve and said, Wed better go now. If one of them accidentally gets too close, they might wonder why it doesnt burn.
Sticking to the shadows, they made their way out of the town. When they got far enough away so that Reza was barely in sight, Raven pointed towards the tiny pinprick of red light and moved her hand in a chopping motion. Instantly, the light died, and Raven breathed a sigh of relief, Well, that was without a doubt the most difficult illusion Ive ever done. Now, Ive got to somehow get back to Vane. Thanks for all your help!
Hey, where do you think youre going? Pyra flew in front of her and said, If you try to go through the Nanza mountain pass, theyll catch you for sure. Since the most direct route to Vane is through the pass, theyre sure to go there first.
So, what choice does that leave me with?
Have you ever heard of Riviera?
Yes, its a small port town on the southern tip of this continent. Wait a minute! Do you have any idea how far away from here that is? Itll take me almost a week to reach it.
Exactly! Thats why its the best place to go! By the time they even realize that youre not going to go through Nanza, youll be halfway there. Rivieras got ships going to Meribia all the time. Just hop aboard one of those as soon as you can, and the thieves will never catch up. Id go with you, but if I dont report back to dad soon, hell probably ground me for life! Staring at the Red Dragon Shield all day is not my idea of fun. See ya!
Raven looked up at Captain Arek and said, By the time I made it to Riviera, my clothes were a total wreck. What little money Id had on me when I was captured, the thieves had stolen, and I knew there was no way that anybody would just let me on their boat for free looking like that. Thats the reason I snuck on board your ship. Im sure once we get to Meribia, someone on Black Rose Street will recognize me and loan me the money to replace the wine and pay for my passage.
Pay me? Nay, lass. The cost of one wine barrel isnt worth cryin about, and after what yave been through, charging ya for passage would be an insult! Ta think those scoundrels would have the gall to sneak into Vane and kidnap a scion of the Ausa house! It makes me blood boil, just thinking about it, Captain Arek turned to Leon and said, The storm didnt blow us too far off course, so we should make it ta Meribia in a couple of hours. Why dont ya show Miss Ausa around the ship? When we get within sight of Meribia, Ill have someone come and fetch ya. The sights not one ya want ta miss.
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