A Once Distant Memory Chapter 11

The Mililani Peninsula

By Shaun Curran

After Mirana, Magus and I agreed that we shouldn't follow the Blackbird into any more major ports, although that would be the easiest way to try for Schala.

"I think that whole thing was a setup," Magus said, commenting on the incident at Mirana.

"I doubt it," I replied.

"What makes you say that?"

"I think we really caught them off guard. I wonder what they were doing in the port, anyway? They certainly weren't expecting us."

We sailed into the Mililani port, once we were absolutely sure that there were no hostile intents about the natives.

"So this is Mililani," Shikeo said," always wanted to be here."

"Your mind should be bent on finding Schala, not finding the nearest bar, Shikeo!" I cried. Shikeo bent down and faced me.

"If you don't change that attitude, I'm going to take that tunic home with me for a decoration, with your decomposed body in it." I was silent from that point on, until we entered the major city.

In Mililani, only humans live there, so we were certainly not welcome, even though we were technically superior. As we walked down the street, people stuck their noses up at us, humans, anyway. A man walking down the street with a bright orange tunic caught my eye.

"Belthasar!" I cried. The man smiled as he saw us.

"What brings you here, my friend?" asked Belthasar. He smiled at me again, his dimples growing red.

"Who are your friends?" I introduced each one of my comrades and Belthasar introduced himself. Belthasar took notice of the fact that we were not exactly welcome and shooed us into his ship.

"What happened to you all?" he asked," you look like you've been through a tornado!" I explained what happened; all he said was that he wondered where Schala was. Then he heaved himself into a chair and sighed.

"Kamus and Dalton, eh?" he asked, sighing afterwards," the Blackbird." He rose.

"I don't know what to make of all this," he said finally once he stopped pacing.

"Can't you help us?" asked Sarbll.

"I'm afraid not," replied Belthasar," I don't have anything that would help you."

"I am so hungry..." started Quelchen. I whirled on him and gave him both barrels.

"My sister is missing and all you can think about is to feed your fat belly?" My nagging was punctuated by a growl from my own belly.

"What was that, Janus?" asked Quelchen. I shut up. Shikeo looked at me disapprovingly.

"I think we could all use something to eat," said Sarbll.

"Not here," said Belthasar, shaking his head," no one likes you here because you are royalty, Janus."

"So if I were to-" Shikeo started.

"No; you're with him," said Belthasar. I then realized why the townsfolk hated me. I was rich and could have anything I wanted on a silver platter whereas the townsfolk couldn't. They had to work hard for a living. Up until now, I didn't think about it. But now I did. I frowned deeply and missed part of what Shikeo said.

"...we'll have to find someplace to stay, too, right Janus?"

"Er... Yes," I said uncertainly. Belthasar looked defeated.

"Okay," he said," I'll take you to the far end of the village; there's a tavern there. But you must find your own way out, okay?" I was happy, and so was Shikeo.

It was dark when we arrived at the cabin that Belthasar was talking about. Immediately upon entrance I could tell that this was a house someone who was very traditional. Religious objects of various sects cluttered the walls in a more or less orderly fashion. I was intrigued by the paintings, however. Some were of Zeal and some of Carbine, the floating kingdom that collapsed in the 6th Century.

"Hello, Belthasar," someone said. I turned to face a young girl of perhaps eighteen. She was clad in all white and had blue hair.

"Hello, Gayla," said Belthasar," I hope I'm not intruding."

"Of course not, Belthasar, you should know better than that. What brings you out this far?" She gazed at me and smiled. I blushed. It wasn't because she was a girl and I a boy; it was because she was a good two or three feet taller than I.

"Well, these five here need food." My neglected cat Alfador meowed in reply.


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