The Making of a Mage King: White Star

The Making of a Mage King: White Star by Anna L. Walls Read Free Book Online Page A

Book: The Making of a Mage King: White Star by Anna L. Walls Read Free Book Online
Authors: Anna L. Walls
idea, since there was more than enough food and drink available around the square.
    As they ate, Sean noticed several more of his men. They entered his range of view from different directions in groups of two to four, but they were dispersed enough that their overall number wasn’t readily noticeable. Though they made some effort to not converge, if they crossed paths, they acknowledged each other with no more than a nod.
    Men looking like constables also moved through the people, and it looked like they were keeping an eye on the strangers wandering around, but they had yet to question any of them, at least none that he could see.
    As they spent the afternoon exploring more of the shops, Sean pointed their steps toward the docks.
    “You’re not looking for someone else to bless, are you?” Larry teased.
    “Certainly not,” said Sean. “I just want to see what some of the ships are hauling. Plus, they’re sailing ships; the only sailing ships I’ve seen were the museum pieces you only saw on TV.”
    “They had some pretty cool ones in the movies too,” said Larry.
    “What are you talking about?” asked Cordan.
    “Sorry, Cordan, it would just take too long to explain,” said Sean. “Maybe I’ll tell you all about it someday when we don’t have anything else to do for a couple days.”
    Cordan cocked his head and raised an eyebrow. “Two days worth of explanations; I think I’ll make a point of remembering to ask you about it, it sounds interesting.”
    By now they could see the masts, and if it wasn’t for the smell of water, moss and wet wood, Sean might have been able to convince himself that they were coming up on a dead forest.
    The sun was high and shining hot, but the docks were buzzing with activity. Ships already tied up at the docks were being unloaded or loaded up again with all manner of boxes, crates and barrels, or people and their luggage. More ships waited at anchor farther out for their turn, and still more were making their way down river. Dockworkers pushed large trolleys back and forth, both empty and piled high, and other men of all shapes and sizes wove among them on other business.
    Sean’s party stopped at a bar and found it full of more men like those who filled the docks. Sean ordered beer for all of them and got something that looked so dark it could have been super strong coffee if it didn’t have a thick head of foam on top. He changed Jenny and Mattie’s beers into Cokes, which Jenny smiled over and Mattie choked over. Mattie had never had a Coke before and had been expecting beer.
    The beer was so strong that it was all Sean could do to swallow each sip. Cordan tasted it like a connoisseur; Sean was forced to smile at him. Larry took one sip, made a face and pointed at Jenny’s glass. Sean changed his beer to Coke, and after another sip of his own beer, he changed it too; it was just too strong for his taste.
    Sean was looking across the assorted faces of the other customers when his eye settled on a pair of men sitting in a shadowed corner. Something about the older man held his attention.
    Without offering any explanation, he went over and sat down at their table with them. “Afternoon, gentlemen. Pardon me, but you look familiar. My name is Seanad Ruhin, have we met somewhere before?” Sean was fairly certain he hadn’t, but then again, it really felt like he had.
    They stared at him in silence. When they continued to stare at him without saying anything, Sean shrugged. “I must be mistaken, pardon.” He went back to the bar.
    As they completed their tour of the docks, Sean could tell that the barge companies were indeed prosperous. For a price, of course, they were equipped to ship most anything both upriver and down. Even though they were much shallower in the draft, they still maneuvered under sail. Sean was starting to like hanging around the docks.
    His tour of the docks finished, they were heading back to the market square when they were ambushed, or perhaps

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