Valeros leans on the bulwark and gazes down into the frothing waters. Merisiel places her slim hand on his shoulder.
“We are a long way from the Lost Coast, my friend,” she says, “You should try and forget her.”
Valeros smiles, tight-lipped. Merisiel joins him at the rail and together they gaze out across the waves. The ship sways slightly as it glides through the shoals and the archipelago of the Shackles islands seems to float on the horizon.
Merisiel glances sideways at her companion.
“Seoni was always going to go her own way,” she says.
“I know,” sighs Valeros, “I just… I thought I could be what she needed. Someone to rely on.”
“She was a barbarian sorceress,” says Merisiel, “and there was otherworldly blood in her. I do not think she knew what she wanted, or will ever.”
Valeros straightens up.
“You are right,” he says, “I should put the past behind me. Let us instead look ahead to the future, and the adventure and riches we have in store.”
Merisiel smiles and claps him on the back.
There is a sudden cry from high in the rigging.
“A sail, a sail! Bearing upon us from the nor-east!”
Valeros and Merisiel dash across the deck to see the approaching vessel. The lookout holds the spyglass to his good eye.
“They are raising their colours!” he cries, “It is the Skull! They are pirates!”