Chapter 2: Songs of Reamere Ch. I
There have been strange reports coming from Wyvera lately. The Reamere area, to be exact. A ship was destroyed somewhere on the open sea a few weeks ago. There were no casualties, but the sailors claim to have seen a giant sea monster, when it happened. As a result, fishermen refuse to sail out and the fish prices are rising like floodwater.
I asked Helga to monitor the situation for me. More stories and myths appear every day, but they are often contradictory and tend to bring up even more questions and no answers. At this rate the citizens of the capital will soon go bankrupt and then starve.
I can‘t let that happen. I was so tired of sitting on my ass and reading reports about natural disasters, mysterious occurences and crimes and injustices from other worlds. I think I‘m finally coming to understand what was it like for my mother. She simply couldn‘t watch people and animals suffer. I was a fool to ever hold it against her.
It‘s a lovely morning in the mountains. The snowy peaks are illumanitated by the first rays of the rising sun and the winds are calm. I couldn‘t ask for weather more suitable for flight. Rex is waiting patiently for me to tack him up with the saddle and all the rigging we use for longer journies. He is still a bit sleepy. My nocturnal boy definitely prefers flying at night. However, MY eyesight is obviously not as good as his, especially at night, and I‘d personally like to see as much as possible of what's in front of us. We are jumping in without any reliable intel and it honestly makes me quite nervous.
Unfortunately, I don‘t even have an idea what we should bring with ourselves. Sure, warm clothing, a cloak and some food supplies for me. Rex will probably have to hunt something down for himself on the way. Carrying food for such a large creature is inefficient as I‘ve learned from experience. Plus, we could always rely on running into traders, hunters or fishermen willing to sell their catch in the past. With the wyveran economy going downhill, it‘d cost me a fortune this time for sure, so I hope Rex will take care of his growling belly on his own. What‘s next? Armor? Iron plates or chain mail could potentially turn into a death trap, if we end up in the water, which I can‘t rule out as a possibility. Simple leather armor just for me it is then. Medical supplies, bandages, a coil of rope and a piece of waterproof linen. Then a historical naval spyglass to avoid arousing suspicion. A map of the area, of course, and… where is my compass?
While I‘m turning around, looking for it, Rex lowers his head and I catch a glimpse of the red case. The compass is dangling from his beak. I huff and look up at him. Stryx are usually curious creatures, so no wonder that Rex would rifle through my stuff. Peculiarly, though, he seems to be drawn to this exact thing, my compass. He is otherwise a pretty noble and distinguished bird, at least for a Harpy, but I can‘t shake off the feeling that he is actually still inwardly laughing at me for getting lost during that tracking assignement… Still frowning, I take the compass from him and put it into one of the saddlebags.
„I‘m still not sure, that this is a good idea,“ Helga declares in her screechy voice.
The old woman‘s leaning against the giant doorframe and watching me pack. Despite her words she doesn‘t try to stop me in any way.
„Don‘t get me wrong. I‘m glad you finally let go of those show ponies of yours, but this… let‘s say it might turn out to be much more complicated than you imagine, girl.“
I need to stop myself from rolling my eyes. Same as me, Helga is happy we are once again doing something meaningful. I can see the gleam in her eyes. But she wouldn't be caught dead admitting it.
Her newest baby, a rust-coloured Chiro named Ignác, sneaks past her onto the platform and starts chewing on my equipment. Rex watches him for a while, then yawns and does nothing about it. I need to go and prevent him from destroying all my spare leather straps. Helga keeps talking:
„… do you think you still remember at least half of what I had taught you, Han? If you do… well, then you two might stand a chance against the sea monster... because half of what I know is approximately the amount of knowledge the best Riders‘ve accummulated throughout their whole lives-!“
„I‘LL BE CAREFUL. DON‘T WORRY,“ reads the screen of my tablet that I shove in the old woman‘s face with a mild smile on my lips.
Helga scowls at me. She huffs and no doubt prepares an extra spicy retort, but I'm no longer there to hear it. I‘ve finished packing during Helga‘s monologue. We are ready to go. Rex jumps into the air and with a few powerful movements we find ourselves high above Helga‘s mountain station. I breath in the crisp air and can‘t help, but laugh. It‘s a ragged, strange sound as is now typical for me, but I don‘t mind. We are on our way! Finally!