“What should we do?” Serena wondered. “There’s still no sign of her.”
“I wouldn’t worry,” Sylvie said. “She may be a lech and weak to a pretty face, but she’s also got her abnormal strength and the skill to use it. I wouldn’t put it past her to sleep with this thief girl, but I doubt she’s going to be beaten by her. Try and sleep for tonight. Chances are that she’ll show up tomorrow and be ready to go. Whether she got the coin she set out to or not.”
“But what if…” Serena began. Sylvie held her and up.
“Peace, Serena,” she said. “If Inés doesn’t come back, I promise you that we’ll stay here until we find her. I’ll personally contact the Temple and have them send an investigation team if I have to. For now, just don’t worry and get some rest. You’ll need the energy if she does come back. Okay?”
“I guess,” Serena agreed. She lied down and closed her eyes, but she didn’t sleep well.
In the morning, Sylvie went to retrieve the pegasi while Serena paced nervously around the temple.
“You said we wouldn’t leave without her,” Serena reminded her.
“I remember,” Sylvie said. “But I do fully expect her to show up before we’re ready to go.”
“Considering your history with her, you have a lot of faith in her,” Serena said.
Sylvie shrugged. “She may not be a friend, but I know her capabilities and I can’t honestly deny how extensive they are. I guess I just have confidence in her as a warrior.”
“Hey, Ladies!” Inés called out. She was hurrying towards them. “We ready to head for Frinma?”
“Inés!” Serena called. She ran over and hugged her, tightly.
“You shouldn’t have stayed out so long!” Sylvie scolded. “Serena was worried sick about you.”
“Sorry,” Inés said. “I was helping a noble thief and then she had way more stamina than I expected.”
“Of course,” Sylvie muttered. “About what I’d expect from you.”
“Hey, I’ve been living the dream,” Inés said. “Travelling all over. Fighting injustice and making love to cute ladies wherever I go!”
“And just how did you get the coin to pay for us to take a ship?” Sylvie asked. “I trust you remembered our deal and didn’t break any of your vows.”
“Course I didn’t,” Inés stated. “Ashley paid me to help bring her murderous brother down. The stuff that happened after… it was kind of spur of the moment and amazing but it was just us women and the coin wasn’t for that. So there were no vows broken.”
“Fair enough,” Sylvie said. “Help me finish the preparations and we can go.”
“How far is it to Frinma?” Serena asked. She kept a tight grip on Inés’ arm.
“About a day and a half of travel,” Sylvie answered.
“Then it’ll be a week by boat to reach the mountains around Drahaven,” Inés added. “If we’re lucky, we should be able to fly the girls over them and it’ll take basically no time to get into the city proper.”
“But if the weather around the mountains is bad we’ll have to go over the mountains,” Sylvie said. “And it’ll take days.”
“I don’t really mind either way,” Serena said. “I mean, I’ve had a lot of fun travelling with you two. I can’t believe the journey’s going to end so soon.”
“Well, we do have the return trip,” Inés said. “Should take about as long.”
“I know,” Serena said. “It’s just… you two are going to be full-fledged warrior priestesses and I’ll still be an initiate. I can’t help but wonder how often I’ll get to see you after we get back.”
Inés hugged her,. “Girl, you’ll see me all the time. Every time I get back from a trip and visit all my ladies at the temple. In between excursions. Whenever it’s time to groom Dusk and Blitz. They are pegasi, after all. The temple will want to keep them together in the stables.”
“So, I’ll see you too, Sylvie?” Serena asked.
Sylvie scratched her head. “Inés is right about our mounts,” she said. “And I’ll make it a point to visit you sometimes. If you really want to see me.”
“I do!” Serena declared. “Thank you.”
“Let’s go!” Inés declared. “I hope you can handle giving our feathered friends cover again.”
“Of course I can,” Sylvie said. “I’ve had time enough to rest. I can certainly handle things for a day and a half.”
The three had to hire a rather large boat. Certainly one big enough to comfortably carry them, Dusk, Blitz & Demure.
During the second day of their journey by boat, things took an odd turn. Out of nowhere, the sea turned violent. Black clouds came from nowhere. The waves grew rough. The three priestesses moved to console their mounts.
“Do storms often spring up out of nowhere like this?” Serena asked, practically shouting to be heard.
“No!” Sylvie cried. “Not without any warning. Not natural ones.”
“Gods preserve us!” one of the sailors shouted. the crew dropped to the deck, prostrating themselves.
Inés, Sylvie and Serena followed their gaze. An ornate chariot, emerging from the waters. Pulled by hippocampuses. Inside the chariot was a tall, regal figure. He was well over two hundred twenty centimetres tall, carrying a trident and carrying a trident in his right hand. He wore a crown of coral and had long, dark hair with a flowing beard.
“Poseidon,” Sylvie whispered.
“What could he want?” Serena asked. She hadn’t heard Sylvie, but she knew very well who she was looking at.
“Could he be mad because we killed his nephew?” Sylvie wondered, the idea bringing a chill to her spine.
“If he is then I’ll take the blame,” Inés said. She grabbed her staff.
“Do not provoke him!” Sylvie screamed.
“I won’t,” Inés agreed. “But if he does attack, you two get out of here. I’ll hold him off.”
Sylvie didn’t have time to argue the point. Poseidon, God of the oceans, rivers, seas. One of the three great Gods of Olympus, had pulled alongside them.