When Rudy the myna had come back crashing on the boat, it all became suddenly a huge uncontrollable chaos.
The hovering menacing clouds that were looming in front of them were coming closer at a dreadful speed, and even more concerning were the rocks that were appearing everywhere now, that they had more and more trouble to avoid in betwixt the turmoils and eddies.
So they had finally come to the Great Rift, Bådul was thinking. The back of the legendary water dragon that noone was known to have crossed.
But Bådul knew better.
He howled orders to get everybody ready at their posts, and felt reassured when he saw that Austor was maneuvering with dexterity and confidence through the rift.
He ignored the crazy laugh of Razkÿ, the madman who was now shouting with a manic laughter “We all gonna diiie! AHAHAHAH! DIE! DIE!” Then winking at Bådul and laughing again.
A few months earlier, Northern Åsgurdy
A huge cloaked figure was riding in the middle of the deserts. The saurhse, a bit small for its rider, was getting tired, but the man wanted to move before the night came. Åsgurdy had a climate which made travels uneasy on land, and only on these bipedal saurians they named saurhses, could Åsgurdians easily travel on the burning hot sands by day. Then, they could gain the high plateaus of rock and ice, where the temperature was kept cold by the high chilly winds. But at night, the deserts would be chilly too, and the cold-blooded creature he was mounting would require a shelter.
He knew that such a shelter wouldn’t be far away now.
That region was mostly uncharted as it was fairly remote from all known cities, but that strange man he had met had said he was a traveler who knew were he could find something priceless.
At that time, Badul had felt he had nothing to lose, and said to himself “when in doubt, go for the experience”.
He had felt he could trust that man known to him only by a strange name, something like Gheorg.
There had been nothing boastful about him, and he had been kind to him. He had been the only person in the World he had known to have given him back his dignity as a human being, and even more, to have given him a reason to live.
He owed him a lot, and perhaps even more as he was now drawing closer to the cave… that same cave which was a mere cross on the torn map he had been drawing hastily before vanishing almost preternaturally, living him a bit of money and that map…
Roselÿn had felt the urge to move somewhere else. This land didn’t resonate with her energy, and that of Rëgkvist, and of the few eggs the dragon had managed to lay, none had actually been able to hatch.
It had affected her so much that she had even retreated from her sisters’ usual talks through the glubolíns.
She needed to move on.
When he entered the cave, Badul was disappointed. He could feel there had been someone living here quite recently, but it was like the cave was now abandoned. He hoped he could have found more answers, but now it was again like burning sand slipping through his fingers.
In a fit of rage, he took a boulder as big as him and threw it across the cave with a roar.
Something was brought down by his huge force further down into the cave and he heard it quite distinctly.
He tied up the saurhse at the entrance of the cave, and entered it with determination, ducking through the tunnel too narrow for his big baby-faced frame. Then he found something glowing. At first, he thought it was some gold, but what kind of fool had been living here before and had been in such a haste to move as to forget gold?
It was not gold. It was something like a broken shell. The broken bits were like a jigsaw puzzle and he wished he could make it one, as he was attracted by the strange radiance of the thing.
Austor did not believe his eyes…
They had crossed the Rift, all three of the ships.
And it was nothing like the dark void they had nearly expected behind.
It was an open sea, glistening in the sun, and all hope had come back through them all.