A travelers story

The story is about the the 15 year old James and the friends he meets on his journeys. James carries a big burden and a big hate, which eventually will lead him and his friends to a battle whit the strongest of demons.

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10. Chapter 9

James rather quickly questioned how vice it had been to let Charles travel with them. He were arrogant, annoying and never stopped talking about worthless things. Only when they sat down to eat a little Charles stopped talking and James could finally ask him what he wanted to ask from the very beginning. “Charles, you seem to know quite a lot of these powerstones. Why?” Charles swallowed what he had in his mouth and answered, “Ever since I picked that stone up in a small cave in a forest some years back I’ve felt an incredible power hold within it. Quite quickly, a mysterious person asked me if he could see it. After that, he asked how I’d gotten the stone. When I told him how I’d gotten it he taught me about the stone and it’s power. He also taught me that there’s only four of these scattered around the island. One should be somewhere near Haelgri but never got found, one should be near where a guy named Akata were born and the last is hidden beneath the waves of the ocean.” Charles said. After he had said the part with how he’d gotten the stone he had, Emily rose to her feet and walked over to behind him. She then quickly began chocking Charles. Anger shone with a force stronger than the sun out of her eyes, and it required both James and Charlotte to get her off him. It were clear that the reason were personal but still James asked, “What were that about?” “That “small cave” were my home at the time. He came in the forest, killed men and women alike; when he went hunting, he tended to hurt more animal than an untrained hunter. He left good meat and good bones for building and hunting just laying around without even showing his gratitude to nature. He took everything in my shelter including a small stone I had in a string. When I were young I used to wear it around my neck, but the string got too small a day and I had to cut it off. He took everything from me including my hunting gear. And now he sounds like that were his life’s best decision.” Emily said and almost pulled both James and Charlotte towards him again. Charles looked like he had no idea what she were talking about but then seemed to remember something. “Had you shown yourself I might wouldn’t have stolen the-“Emily almost jumped out of the arms or James and Charlotte when she heard that “You killed whoever you where with for more than 5 minutes. Women, children and men alike. How can I ever trust you after seeing that?” Emily asked angry. Charles looked down to the ground “I don’t know” he said silently before leaving the camp. He got back a few minutes after. What he came back with were a small yellow like stone. The stone resembled the size of a powerstone but it didn’t at all have the aura nor power emitting from it that a powerstone had. “I never found anybody who would buy or sell this.” Charles said and gave it back to Emily with a sad expression. Emily almost couldn’t believe this. Had there always been two stones in there. “I got drawn towards another stone just after I picked this one up. The other stone laid just next to this and it emitted so much power I couldn’t believe it were a stone. I’m sorry for the struggles I’ve forced upon you.” Charles said and sat down again. Charles looked filled with regret and said nothing for the rest of the day. Even Emily couldn’t disagree with the fact that he were sincerely regretful.

In the evening, Charles opened a bottle with a clear liquid. Almost instantly, a sweet scent spread throughout the camp. James knew exactly what this smell were and almost couldn’t believe it. “That’s quite some fine wine,” he said looking at Charles. Charles took a drink and then offered the bottle to James. James gladly took the bottle and took a sip from the bottle. The wine were even sweeter tasting than smelling. Instantly James could feel the alcohol work its way with his body. Charlotte didn’t ask if she would be allowed to taste, but the look in her eyes told them all that she wanted. James offered her the bottle with a frail “Don’t drink much, this is quite strong,” Charlotte nodded and took a small sip from the bottle. She handed it back to James and then began to tilt from side to side where she sat. Charles looked with a surprised look at her. “She don’t handle liquor well,” James said. Emily then asked if she could try out the liquid too. Charles handed her the flask and she drank a good portion before giving it back to James. A few seconds after she sat and blinked all the time to keep herself awake. Charles looked at James with eyes saying, and her? James responded, “It’s probably her first time drinking alcohol and since this is quite strong it’s probably too much for her.” Charles nodded. “Say, you don’t have a piece of string?” Charles suddenly asked. James looked through a few of his backs before finding a small piece of leathery string. He handed it to Charles who took the yellow stone from the almost sleeping Emily, who of course noticed nothing. He then began making a lot of weird knots over the stone and around the stone. He then made the string just a bit longer and more pleasant to the skin. After doing this, he placed the necklace he had just made around Emily’s neck and laid her down. She fell asleep a few seconds later using her tail as both pillow and blanket. “She’s pretty,” Charles said. “No pervy intensions right?” James asked. “Of course not,” Charles responded looking at Emily with a look James could only say were the look of an adorer. “Have you seen her before?” James asked Charles shook his head. “I had no idea she lived in the cave,” he said and looked at the beautiful sky filled with stars. “But tell me, what’s your relationship with the girls?” Charles then asked. Both Charles and James were somewhat drunk already and James didn’t even think before he talked. “I met Charlotte a while back and fell for her quickly. The innkeeper in Sleeping Foxes forced us to become a party and since then we’ve traveled together. We picked up Emily just before we got to Waterville and I found out what amazing power the stones possess.” James said. “If I manage to get Charlotte a future, I’ll propose to her. So far we’ve said after we slay Akata, but I’m not sure I can get the money to that time,” James said unhappy before falling asleep being drunk. Charlotte had already fallen to the alcohol and Charles laid down a few minutes later. Drunk as he were James dreamt of him and Charlotte again. This time in a more family oriented matter. He dreamt they had a home, kids and a field to call theirs. With those dreams in his mind James smiled throughout the night.

As per usual when they slept close to each other, James woke up with Charlotte next to him. This time they didn’t face each other. However, Charlotte still had a grip in James tail and used it as a blanket. Emily still slept and Charles stood over a fire whilst toasting chestnuts. “Morning,” he said when he noticed James were awake and fumbled in the embers left in the fire. He then took out a small handful of chestnuts to both James and himself before letting two other handfuls lay upon the fire. As they ate, the nuts Emily woke up and it were clear that her head hurt. Charles went away for a few second before he came back carrying a flask filled with cold water. Emily took the flask and drank some of the water before she turned her head and vomited. She didn’t want to eat anything but as the boys kept pushing her she ended up eating what they gave her. She ate slow and steady but at least she ate something. Charlotte woke up a little while later and she too got some water before she got some food. Charlotte didn’t vomit but it were clear she could at any second now. As Emily stretched, she noticed something and hold the necklace up. For a second her blurred mind couldn’t tell what it were she hold up, but then it hit her and she got quite a happy smile on her face. “Thanks” she said with a low voice and Charles responded, “You’re welcome.” For a second Emily looked like she couldn’t believe him but she didn’t say anything about it. Charlotte drank a bit more water before replying, “It’s pretty,” and continued eating. This made Emily smile even more. James nodded. The stone and string in itself where quite dull but together and on a person, it looked nice. “It truly is.” James said. “But this doesn’t mean I’m gonna forgive you for what you did” Emily said directed at Charles. With what James had seen of her he weren’t surprised. After all, she had lost all her belongings because of him and had seen him kill people without caring who they were or what age they might be. James knew he wouldn’t trust or forgive someone like that for a while either. “Well if we are to go to Saijei within one and a half year we should get going.” James said and began packing his ow stuff. The girls did the same but Charles waited a while before doing it.

James knew that they didn’t have enough food for them all to get to Saijei now. They hardly had before and definitely didn’t have now. Charles suddenly asked James “That first powerstone you found, where did you find it?” “You said that the stone in Haelgri weren’t found but after the monster nest raid they had I got this as payment. Apparently the monsters had it or something,” James answered. Charles nodded in thought. “Perhaps the color of the stone is from where it’s from. That would mean that the ones we need are blue and since Akata were born a desert nomad the last is probably yellow.” Charles said. “You said that the stones would make my blade and myself stronger how?” James asked him. Charles took in a deep breath and then in one go said “The first stone makes the blade of the weapon twice as sharp and strong. It will also make the wielder twice as strong as long as he uses the sword or in you case tachi, the second will make the blade three times as sharp and strong, meaning six times as strong and sharp as the blade originally were, now only strong magic can have a chance of breaking the blade and the wielder can knockout a small monster with one punch, the third will multiple the sharpness with a such amount that the blade might as well cut through air no matter what it cuts, and the fourth should do so the wielder is pretty much only killable by betrayal and age.” James were amazed with how fast he could say that but knew better than trying to tell it. What he needed now were a way to find either Akata or the powerstones. “Do you think we could beat Akata with what I have now?” James asked. “Of course. The tachi probably weighs around 8-10 kilos but for you it’s probably as easy to wield as it were to swing branches when you were smaller. Right?” James nodded. “There you see, 10 kilos is quite some weight in itself and because of the length of the tachi that weight goes a far way. The tip must feel like 15-20 kilos to any other person,” James nodded “and for you it feels like what? 5?” “More like 7 but close guess.” James answered. “There you see already now you wield the tachi like no other person can. When you get the next stone a bound is made with you and the weapon. No matter how much weight is on it as long as you normally can lift it you should be able to lift it even on the tip in stretched arm.” Charles said. With what James had seen from the powerstones so far he wouldn’t be surprised if Charles talked the truth.

A couple of days after a familiar figure walked a few miles away to the right. No other person than Sullivan could be that big and wield that sword. “What do you guys say to talk to Sullivan again?” James asked. Charlotte and Emily would be happy to but Charles didn’t know who he were talking about. “Trust me you’ll find out when we get over to him,” James said and they all began going towards him.

In the time between them, seeing Sullivan in Waterville and now Sullivan had gotten a great tan. He looked darker than he usually did but all his muscles were clearer now and it were clear that Sullivan were stronger than most would think just looking at him. “Hello Sullivan,” James said and waved at him. Sullivan rose a hand as response and stopped where he stood. “I see that you once again have gotten yet another person in your party. Mind introducing us?” Sullivan asked. “This is Charlie a guy who knows about powerstones. And Charles this is Sullivan Georgson an acquaintance of us.” James said introducing the two men to each other. Sullivan took forth his hand and gave hands with Charles. Then after the formalities, Sullivan pulled Charles towards him and hit him hard over the chin. Charles dislocated his jaw and spit out a tooth. James looked at Sullivan with a questioning look “The son of a bitch stole half my money at some point, a few days after he took my food and he even tried to take my sword. He’s got to be happy that he’s with you otherwise he would die in a painfull way” Sullivan said showing how much he meant it by pointing his blade towards Charles neck. No matter how strong James were he knew that Sullivan were stronger. For anybody to be able to wield that broadsword so easily he had to be quite strong. Sullivan picked up Charles and pushed his jaw to one side. A cracking sound could be heard and Charles jaw were back to where it belonged. “I told you never to get close to me again thief. But since you’re in party with the only person so far to beat me in a fair duel I’ll accept it,” Sullivan said with displeasure in his voice. It were already rather late and since they were here already, they decided to share a camp for the night. None other than James had talked much to Sullivan so James kept quite most of the time whilst the girls talked to Sullivan. Emily were especially curious on how strong he actually were. After all, she had heard and seen what force he had hit James with once and the bruise he had gotten because of it. “Would you like to take a duel with me to find out?” Sullivan eventually asked to get her to shut up. “I’d love to,” she said before anybody could stop her. “Well then we’ll duel in the morning. Any of you having a stick or something similar? Last time I ended up crushing the organs in a duel where I hardly felt that I put force in the swing.” Sullivan said. Since none of them had they decided to use hands instead of weapons to give both a fair chance.

The morning came and Emily were ready just as soon as she woke up. She knew that even James would have difficulty getting to her in a duel and she would probably be the first to hit Sullivan and not the other way around. This weren’t a duel of strength but on speed. Sullivan got up a few minutes before sunrise and the two of them woke up the others. They then walked around 50 meters away from the camp and prepared for the duel.

It started good for Emily. Her speed won her a lot of dodges but she could never get close to Sullivan. She were fast but had to aim quite well to hit him right. He punched out and avoided her just as well as she did. But then she made a mistake, a stone suddenly rolled under her foot and she slipped for half a second which were enough for Sullivan to hit her on the arm. Sullivan had won by her mistake and Emily were quite angry about it.

“You fought well young girl,” Sullivan said when they sat and ate breakfast. “Suppose I did,” she said quite annoyed at herself. “If it’s any help I think you looked amazing when you fought,” Charles said. Emily sent him one look and he said no more. “Seems like you have a good hold on him are you two perhaps in a relationship?” Sullivan asked. Emily looked at him for around 3 seconds before he began creeping to the side, “I get it you aren’t. Please stop sending me that look.” Sullivan said to the surprise to all. Sullivan were strong and secure with himself and he looked so fearless. Yet one look from Emily were enough to frighten him. “That’s one powerful look you’ve got there Emily,” James said, “Thanks,” she replied and continued eating her food.

When they finished their breakfast James asked what he had wanted to ask Sullivan a few time “Would you perhaps like to join our party?” Sullivan looked honored but also had a look of regret in him “Sorry no can do. I promised my chosen woman I would become the strongest adventurer on my own so that I could save her from Akata. That devil worshipper deserves worse than death,” Sullivan said getting three nods from the others. “Actually I don’t have a direct conflict with Akata, but I suppose that since all of you have I’m going to fight him anyways. However, it won’t be easy. Akata is hidden somewhere in the dessert and sends his demons out when he needs something done. I know a safe route through the dessert but I have no idea where Akatas castle is.” Charles said. James instantly turned to Charles. “You know a safe way through the whole dessert?” he asked. “Yes of course, I’ve needed it quite often to escape angry people,” Charles said. “If you showed us then it would be so much easier going to Saijei,” James said. “I’ve never been through the dessert myself so I don’t know any ways through it and Charlotte doesn’t either. Since Emily have lived in the forest all her life she doesn’t either.” James said looking happy. “If it will help you of course I’ll show it. However, remember not to show it to anybody we don’t trust. And even then keep it a secret.” Charles said. James of course knew this were rule number one in a travelers survival guide. Lives got lost in the dessert every day and the villages moved around a lot. The “safe routes” where when there would be villages most of the time and when there weren’t you could get shelter anyways. Not only were the desert the hottest place on the entire island but probably also the windiest. Sand storm were to be expected at all times and even the area around the desert were filled with sand. “New plan then. Instead of going around the dessert we’re going to cross it.” James said with new hope.

It took a long while but they got to the dessert quicker than James had expected. A wide-open plain of sand rose from in front of him. Storms of sand could be seen and the heat could be seen miles out. This would be a hard travel. Without Charles, they would never have known where to start or were to turn. A single village could be seen around a week travel out. This would be the hardest travel in the group’s lives. The water had to be filled and distributed strictly. “We sleep here tonight. Tomorrow our so far hardest adventure awaits.” James said and prepared a camp.

They had hardly been walking for half a day before a sandstorm appeared out of nowhere. Even though they knew this might happen it still shocked them that so early, a sandstorm would hit them so soon. James and Emily used their tails to cover their mouths and nose. Charlotte and Charles used pieces of cloth instead but they all got sand in their mouth anyways. Around their eyes they had clothes so they wouldn’t get sand in their eyes. Yet they could still feel sand sticking to the side of the eye. They had to find some sort of cover but since they weren’t near any hills or holes in the ground they had to keep moving forward. After around an hour, the storm finally settled and the group could finally relax. When the last sand finally disappeared, James and Emily quickly took their tails away from the face. James had never thought his tail could collect that much sand. Just on, its way towards his back he must have thrown around a kilo sand, and yet there were more. If this continues I need to bath just after this, James thought. The city they had seen the day before were now on their left side and not right in front of them as it were when they started. They had walked to the left instead of steadily forward. Had the storm been a long and hard one they might would have gotten so hard out of course that they would get lost in the dessert. After spitting what little sand, he had in the mouth out James said, “We need to get to the city as fast as possible. If we get into a hard storm we will lose course and get lost.” Emily who had never experienced anything like this got shocked. She knew this would be a gravely dangerous journey but still this were too much. “I’m not sure I can do this James,” she said and looked ready to go. Charlotte walked over to her “It’s okay Emily. We’re here together with you.” James knew he couldn’t have much more in his backs so he had Emily carry the fire wood. The nights in the dessert were known to be worse than the nights in the mountains considering the cold. “Emily, we all have our jobs to do. You have the firewood, Charlotte has the fire starters, the water and Charles knows the way through the dessert, and I’m carrying the rest more or less. If one of us decides to go we’re all doomed,” James said. Emily looked down at her feet, “I know,” she said ever so silently before moving forward again.

Even before the group reached the city just four days travel into the dessert, they had already experienced another five storms. The nights were so cold they almost switched to their warmer clothes. Emily’s courage had broken already the day before, but she knew she would never be able to get back on her own. Charlotte had no intension on going back if James weren’t and as long as Charles could show them the way James would not go back. Emily knew this and that were her only reason to keep walking. Had any of them felt like her she would try to get the last two to listen, but since she were the only one she knew it would be fruitless. The city were actually just a lot of tents put up a place with a well. If the well didn’t have enough water anymore the city would move. It would also move if it was hit by storms a number of times. However, they had a lot of fruit. They had a lot of trees in small and big pots and even though the trees were heavy and big they would be moved together with the city. James had one request in this visit. That they would wait long enough with going further so that he could try the dessert fruit he had always wanted to try. The fruit lived only in the desert and lost flavor if it got cold. Thus, only freshly picked ones were good. The fruit were shaped like a star and should have an orange flesh. The taste should be sweet as candy and enjoyable like ragout. James had wanted to try out this fruit ever since the first time he heard about it but as he never got the chance to go through the dessert he never had the chance to get it. James had forgotten the name of the fruit but knew what to look for. Since Emily had been broken, James had promised her one of these amazing fruits. She took the offer with what dignity she had left. It took James around an hour to find a shop selling the fruit and two of them cost one gold. James gave one to Emily who silently thanked him. They both took the first bite at the same time. The fruit were everything it were told to be. Sweet and enjoyable. Even Emily who had been down since her courage broke smiled, as she tasted the fruit. The two fruits quickly got devoured and James knew that this could not get a habit. Otherwise, he would lose a lot of money. Charlotte had no interest in the fruit as she had apparently already tasted something similar once and didn’t like it. Charles had tasted the fruit before but didn’t think it were anything special. “We need to get a move on,” Charles said, “To get through this part of the dessert before we spent around three months here.” James and Emily nodded. Only a few hours after they entered the city they left it again. They needed to get out of the desert as fast as it were possible.

The days and nights went on. The only abnormality of the desert were when they occasionally saw a few cities. Otherwise, all they saw were sand and cacti. Emily were the first to get tired of this. She wanted to see more green. She wanted some more cold weather and wanted a lake or river to bath in already. James tail were pretty much a mess. A week after they started walking James quitted trying to get his tail to clean. There would always be sand in it and James got more and more frustrated. Emily’s tail however had much more sand than his own. He could barely lift his but Emily had to drag it around or hold it in her arms and try to get the sand out of it. For the first time ever James regretted having a tail, but also knew it were something he would never want to lose. It were part of him just as his arm.

Almost a month passed and they could finally see the end of the dessert. However, they had gotten low on food and money. They needed to take a job and funnily enough, the next city were the only city in the dessert that didn’t move. They had to see if they could get a job here, otherwise they might wouldn’t make it to the next. If it hadn’t been for Charles, James would have gotten lost ten times within the first week. Without Charles, they would have died before getting a chance to find their way out of the dessert. Even Emily had to admit she trusted him as a member of the party now. In the horizon, they could see the mountains. So far, they were just small and looking a bit like tree tops, but the snow on them were visible even from here. What had taken them months to go through were only the beginning to a new long journey. However, this one would be without the temperature of a furnace and the cold of the mountain tip. This one would be nice. Just as soon as they got the job. Otherwise, they wouldn’t make this next journey no matter how hard they tried.

“A job you say? I’m not sure we have anything you could do,” the village leader, an old man with no hair and a sleepy looking face said, “We don’t have any problems with monsters, the river is running close enough that we can get out own to go there. The fields are village property and I’m not gonna permit you to go there. The houses were made a few years ago and still hold perfectly. The animals are safe and sound. We have no reasons to hire you guys.” James were baffled. Usually any city had small problems with whatever it might be. However, this had none. “We really need the money. We’re traveling to Saijei and our food recourses are already thin. We probably won’t reach the next city unless we make just a little money to buy the food,” James said. The village leader closed his eyes in thought before opening them again. His eyes were clear and with one thing in them. Sorrow. “I’m sorry but we just don’t have anything you guys could do. We trust travelers and such, but we don’t have anything worth paying you guys for. If it weren’t because I can see how strong a group you are I would have told you guys to leave. But if you guys need some food, I think I can come with some sort of agreement. We have a small problem with jackal. They attack in the night and takes a single lamb or sheep every few weeks. It’s nothing we can’t survive, but we fear they might would get more cocky. However, we were already planning to make a party to kill and injure all those we could. Do that instead of my own farmers and I’ll provide you with a fair deal of jerky.” The village leader proclaimed. James already knew that the amount would be rather small but he also knew he had to take this offer otherwise; the group could die of starvation. “Ok we’ll take the offer. However, let’s agree on an amount before we leave. After all we need at least 5 kilos to get to the next city.” The village leader nodded and they started negotiating.

They had decided on 6 kilos. James had lied and the village chief knew it. They needed no more than 5 kilos, but James kept going with a bit small price. In the end, he got an extra kilo. They now had more meat than they needed, but that one kilo might be what would save them if something bad happened. The jackals cave were easily found. It were atop a hill near the village and it smelled badly all around it. A growl came from all around the group as they sat foot in the middle of their den. A large jackal made its way towards them. James prepared to kill the beast until it stepped to the side revealing a monster behind it. When James looked around a similar show were found all around them. The jackals were like dogs to the monsters. This weren’t a problem with wild animals but a problem with monsters. I knew it, James thought before a monster launched an attack against him. With learned ease James swung the tachi and sliced the monster in two with one strike. “Charles, Emily, Charlotte this aren’t a jackal den this is a monster nest. Kill all the monsters otherwise the village will have a bigger problem than they could ever dream off.” James yelled and began slaying both jackals and monsters. Charles and Emily had a very similar fighting style but Emily’s were more refined. Charles dodged everything to then make a monster kill another one before breaking the neck of the first one. Emily played with the monsters like a cat-playing with a mouse and Charlotte kept leaping back and forth slaying whatever she hit.

Hours passed and they were all covered in blood. Only a few monsters were left and the group had to kill them. Charlotte launched an attack towards one. Charles and Emily took one each and James threw his blade into the last monster. The second the tachi left him, he felt a lot weaker. The blade got its original bluish color instead of the changing color it had before. It still cut deep into the monster and killed it. However, the strength it had were gone. The stones looked like glass instead of gems. James fell to his knees when he felt a lot of his power disappear from him. Firstly, when Charles brought him his tachi back the stones got their glow back and James could stand up again. James would not let the blade disappear from him again. It would be devastating.

“You knew there were a nest there didn’t you?” James asked once they were back in the village. The village leader looked with sadness as he answered, “Yes I did. For years, they have taken sheep and cattle from the farms and we haven’t been able to do anything against it. Since you were so few we thought you might be able to kill a few before dying making the rest of the village see that we need to move.” James were surprised about this but knew that the village leader wouldn’t have done it if it weren’t for the sake of the village. “I forgive you, but next time tell the people what you ask them for.” The village leader looked at James with a surprised and relived face. “Thank you. I will remember this.” He said. Of course, you will, a part of James thought for just a second. What was that?

“Is it just me or aren’t our jobs mainly raids?” Emily asked once they had gotten out of the desert. Charlotte and James nodded and Charles looked with a questioning face. “James and Charlotte had a raid as their first job together, and I were in one after they picked me up. Now you’ve been in one with us too. Weird right?” Emily explained, Charles laughed “Actually not. Many travelers do raids often because of the thrill. Just killing monster camps are nothing and even a weak solo traveler can do it. But raids are so much fun as you meet new people and gain more strength.” He said. Emily didn’t get the great in the but decided against saying it out loud. “Anyways for now all I need is a bath. What about you guys?” James asked. “Me too,” the others said one after another. After a while, they found a river. After a quick rock, paper, scissors the girls got in first. Charles had suggested they all bathed together but since all the others said, “No” it had to be like this. “Say James, do you really love Charlotte?” Charles asked. “Yes I do. I would do everything for her, even if it means to set my own happiness aside.” James answered. “Why don’t you just get a couple then?” Charles asked wondered. “Because I have nothing to give her. If we ended up wanting to marry one another, we would have nothing. No money, no home and no place to get a home. What kind of future is that? If I have to, I would give her to a rich guy. Just to let her have a future.” James said. “And how’s your feelings for Emily?” Charles then asked. James thought about it for a second before answering, “Emily is like a smaller sister to me. She’s not that smart yet and her personality are childish. But she’s a nice person and I think she could get any guy she wanted.” James said before then adding “Except me of course.” “Is she interested in it?” Charles then asked. “I don’t know. But I know she definitely don’t have those thoughts for you.” James answered. “Figured” Charles responded and they then sat silent until the girls came back and they could get into the river.

“You sure you don’t need help?” Charles laughed. James had said he didn’t want help cleaning his tail, but with the mud on it from all the sand cleaning it got harder and harder. “Yes!” James said looking at Charles with an annoyed face. In the end, James gave up and just let the tail lie in the water. Eventually the stream led the rest of the mud out of the tail. James then laid down in the river and relaxed completely. Drifting away were no worry as James tail hit the bottom and took a hold in a rock. Charles tried too but ended up raging hard about constantly drifting.

That evening were a wonderful one. They all talked about themselves, drank a bit of alcohol and laughed at the same things. The rest of the world could wait. What they had now were theirs and they wanted to share it with no one.

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