Subject: Boys Guild Chapter 21, Gay, Adult/Youth, Sci fi Fantasy This story is a work of fiction. It never happened, it never will. The characters and locations are all make believe and any resemblance to any place or person, living or dead, is simply in the mind of the reader and totally unintentional. Situations and sexual activities of the characters are fantasy, don’t try dragon riding at home. The story is also the first in a series of stories about Kind Draviad’s Realm. Please let me know if you enjoy by email to nicholas6996 (at) hot mail dot com Copyright 2018 by Nicholas Nicholby, all rights reserved. Not to be distributed or duplicated without express written permission of the author. The author hereby grants the Nifty Archive a non-exclusive, worldwide, royalty-free, perpetual, and non-cancellable license to use, modify or alter and edit copy for clarity or style, reproduce, display, make compilations of and distribute the work. The Boys Guild The sergeant and his two fellow City Watchmen ended their brief conversation with a belly laugh loud enough to startle the pigeons along the quay. The Watchmen then began their methodical stroll, one towards the left and one towards the right. A citizen watching would have no illusions, these men were not out for a leisurely turn around the neighborhood. No, they were clearly watching and maybe even hoping for trouble. The belly laugh had been because the Sergeant had pointed out the almost ridiculous circumstance that for a while now the Watchmen didn’t have to be too diligent in their eagle eyed perusal. In fact, all they really had to do was keep an askance glance on the rippling sparkling blue shimmer which ran in waves across the entire facade of Miss Molly’s Red Door House of Profane Orechasm. There had been a lot of consternation all along the docks when a resounding series of explosions had brought Marines running from the King’s field headquarters in the warehouse district, Watchmen running from just about all corners of the city, and the Fire Brigade struggling into their special trench coats as they came running from both the dockside station and the city center station. It was that last group that had observant citizens frightened. A fire along the docks was just about the worst thing that most citizens could imagine. The Fire Brigade actually agreed, a dockside fire was something none of them wanted to find. Seeing the sparkles and roiling shimmer from down by Molly’s everyone was extremely concerned. Those inside Molly’s were more than concerned, they were aghast. One minute they were standing around the crimson draped reception room thinking with parts of their bodies that really only had a one track mind and then first a chilling aura of intense cold had followed some sort of skeletal freak through their midst. Second, most of Molly’s fine girls had disappeared down a red bedecked hallway to only come charging back through reception and scatter into the dozens of tiny rooms slamming doors. Third, none of the men had been invited into those rooms with them. It was less than a sealing wax drip of time off the candle when the girls came charging back out of those rooms now bundled in shawls and swinging large purses and intent on running to and then through every official entrance and unofficial bolthole separating Molly’s from the greater world outside. Unfortunately for the girls even though the doors would open and that greater world could be seen just ahead some shimmering blue sparkle wouldn’t let anyone pass. In fact, it seemed to reach back at those that reached at it and the resulting shockwave of pain soon had the girls squealing and shrieking in terror. Formerly sharp and pointed men’s lower minds shriveled and actual upper brain cells began firing and wonderment turned to befuddlement turned to outrage as the men realized the blue shimmer applied to them as effectively as it applied to the girls. Important men, at least in their own opinions, began shouting that this was intolerable and they couldn’t be treated thusly. Less important men, at least in the opinions of those of importance, began pushing the girls aside and attempting on their own to leave Molly’s. The least important men, in just about everyone’s opinion, noticed that the bar if not actually being tended was at least open and available. With little fanfare they began liberating its contents figuring that not everything should be held outright captive. The most experienced of Molly’s girls watched the blue shimmer attack and repulse and decided that perhaps now was the perfect time to see about feeling no pain while liberating what coin they could from the men at the bar. A party of no importance at all, but incredible energy, began at Molly’s. The arriving Fire Brigade soon had hoses attached to pumps and pump attached to the harbor and water began to be lifted out of the sea and dropped back on top of Molly’s. The blue shimmer didn’t seem to care one bit. It simply charged back across the water and down the hoses and soon the Fire Brigade was blasted away from the pumps and unceremoniously found themselves flat on their butts shaking with residual tremors and looking confused looks at each other and their officers. The arriving Watchmen found themselves not really having to hold back crowds of morbidly curious citizens because that same blue shimmer continued to run across the surface of the dispersing water and it still carried enough of a punch to persuade all but the most foolish to return home. The arriving Marines noted that there was no smoke, no odor of burning wood or flesh and no real need for them to be there. They returned to their activities in furtherance of the King’s business. Outside Molly’s a vaguely uneasy caution intermingled itself with an intensely enticing curiosity and Liivka found itself with a thrice guarded local tourist attraction. Thrice guarded because of firstly the blue shimmer, secondly the quickly established City Watch’s foot patrolled perimeter, and thirdly the equally quickly established and now quite regularly utilized Citizens Stroll. It took no time at all for various hawkers of refreshment to join along the edges of that stroll. It took even less time for members of the Thieves Guild, in particular the former associates of Clipper, more recently known on the other side of the blue shimmer as the He/She Sweet Pea, to return to the practice of their trade along that stroll. Back inside Molly’s important men began shouting offered rewards and riches for less important men to break down the walls and create a new opening to the outside. Some of the less important men took up the challenge after carefully noting the names and offers down on Molly’s red tingled cocktail napkins and getting signatures or initials of the offering parties. Molly herself came from her inner sanctum as the sounds of splintering wood, shattering crystal and cheers of male enthusiasm accompanied the opening of a large part of the reception room wall. She shook her head at testosterone fueled idiocy as the first opening succeeded in only discovering a corridor to the tiny rooms. The fools had not started with an outward facing wall. She threw up her hands when undeterred the idiots simply switched sides of the reception hall and went at it in a new location. She grabbed an almost empty bottle of whiskey from one of the bar raiders and used it to bludgeon another couple of raiders who had found a short case of her special imported top shelf brandy. She grabbed a likely lad who hadn’t ever realized he could be corralled and led around by that particular part of his anatomy. Getting him to hold the Brandy and follow his bouncing balls Molly took him to the back where she poured him a drink from the surprisingly still intact whisky bottle, gave his leading love handle a few surprisingly swift and well practiced pulls and rubs, then aimed it at his own chest and proceeded to very professionally paint his torso not surprisingly without a single errant drop touching either her hand or her gown. She shoved him back out into the newly remodeled hallway and began listing those new items she was adding to Mr. Fritjof’s rapidly escalating second billing as she opened some of the brandy. She paused in a moment of quiet reflection as to which was the most satisfying, the visible amber glow of the disappearing brandy or the not so visible golden glow of the soon to be appearing Fritjof coin. Up at the castle the Wizard had gathered some snippets from Clipper’s frazzled mind and once the boy was settled with Zekial he had turned to Tomas and Cobar for escort an accounting. It was confusing and unfocused, but it was also sufficient. Two names and a description were prominent: Miss Molly, Fritjof and a vibrantly cold Thing. The Wizard popped out of existence in the tower and into existence outside Molly’s. His intention was to capture whom so ever might still be around with any information. He was astounded to find the blue shimmer, the sealed building and apparently the entire cast of characters corralled and awaiting interrogation. He smiled at the efficiency and resourcefulness of his youngest charge. During the next few days the Watchmen on patrol found themselves in a lively conversation with some of both Miss Molly’s girls and customers. Through the newly created yet ineffective opening a poetically inclined young Watchman and a pragmatically inclined grizzled Watch Detective began hearing pieces then the whole of what came to be called The Sweet Pea Affair. The detective Watchman had taken careful notes of the names and descriptions of the participants, observers and bystanders of the outward activities of the Affair. The poetical Watchman had scribbled reams and reams of notes concerning the events, the observations, the sights, sounds and smells as well as the underlying dark designs within the Affair. One of them submitted his arrow pointed report up the chain of command in the Watch with a second copy directed toward the Castle Dungeon Master. The other submitted a thrilling tome upon the receiving desk of the Nifty Archivist. The first author privately bet with his Watch mates that nothing would come of his reports. The second author strategically bet with his Watch mates that he would soon be published and should receive some acclaim. Within days of having won his bet the second author addressed a letter to Nifty Archive Alliance 
 PMB 159 
 3 Mamaroneck Ave
 White Plains, NY 10605
 USA He included a generous 15% of his winnings as a satisfying donation to the good works of the Archivist in keeping all of us entertained. He hoped others would readily follow his example. Chapter 21 – Snow and Ice and Cold Case trails The moon had changed since the ship was stormed and the captives rescued. The crew had been interrogated and what little they knew of who had paid, where they had hunted, and where they intended to finish the voyage was documented and analyzed. The bodies of those that had died during the interrogations had been publicly hung from the spikes along the harbor jetty. Those that had survived were exposed and locked alive in the gibbet cages as warning to any who thought slaving could be practiced or hidden. The First Officer, the Cabin Boy and the Cook as well as the Cook’s boys and the two boys who had been captives before becoming bed boys to the crew were also questioned. Their stories were consistent and compelling, they were pardoned of any crimes and became the core of the new crew. The ship itself was now owned by the King and would operate as a merchant vessel with any profits continuing to support the captives remaining in convalescent care. Most of the adults had chosen to return as close as possible to their own lands and the King had seen to their repatriation. The boys all felt they had nowhere to return, most of them had been from farming families where they had seen everyone around them slaughtered while they had been captured. Abhi seemed to be the only city dweller, and his deep and long conversations with the Wizard and the King had left them all with a basic plan along the lines of what had first been considered. The boys were transferred from the ship to a barracks in the Castle Keep where they worked with the Marine Commander on regaining strength and developing new skills and agilities. They would practice with small arms for a short time more and then they would become the King’s Sentinels, a mix of guard, scout, ranger and forester that would keep an eye on the forest and see to both its needs and its protection. The Marine Commander and Colin would be the officers, at Colin’s Fourtweenth he had requested that the King post him to the Marines, but his budding relationship with the Commander and the new Sentinels need for leadership made this new posting the best choice of all. The Sentinels would build their own camp beyond the mill. Kalpak and Mig were enthusiastic about joining them in exploring much farther and husbanding the forest. They had found a deep forest glade that they felt would be perfect for a small encampment and were ready to lead the boys and then teach them about living from the forest bounty. The Miller was glad of the additional eyes on the far reaches of the realm, as was the King who provided advice and financing as the Sentinels were formed. The boys themselves were excited for the adventure of it all. A new clerk had been added to the dungeon staff and some intricacy of counting and inventory had him scratching his head. He had gone to the Master Scribe and talked about what he thought he was seeing, or rather not seeing that concerned him. He was of course afraid that first it was a test to see if he was sharp and aware. Then he realized that there must be some sums of money involved and he was afraid someone might be using his naiveté to hide shenanigans or get him blamed. Finally he was just downright mad that something seemed to be happening to prisoners and no one seemed to know about it. They were prisoners and deserved rough treatment, but, after all, how could a prisoner just disappear from the wall shackles and the dungeon without an accounting? His ledger had neat columns for death by Iron Maiden, death by cat o’ ninetails, death by hot poker and even death by bodily dysfunction among many other columns. How could a prisoner, dead or alive, just disappear? The Master Scribe petitioned the King for a private audience and took the clerk to explain the anomaly. The King was not pleased. Oh he was pleased enough with the new clerk and the question, it was the lack of a ready innocent answer that had him angry. The King now called the Inquisitors and essentially confined them to their own dungeon cells and put the Dungeon Master in charge of determining if they had been sloppy, lazy or were working with some other motive. They would not be a part of the team divining the hoped for secrets of slaving unless it transpired that they were part of the secret. The Falling Leaves Moon was full in the night sky and many many boys were crowding into the Boy’s Guild Hall at night. Most sleeping shelves had at least two small bodies and some had up to four. Of course the smaller the boys and the expedient of head to tail sleeping made it not at all a bother. In fact, body heat was combined with the warmth of the bread ovens and now the Hall of Boys might have been the toastiest Guild Hall in Liivka. It certainly would be the most boisterous, Harvestoberfest aside. Clipper and Jaxx had moved from the Guild Hall to the sail loft at the Chandler’s. Clipper was recovered in a sense and not so recovered in other senses. He had stopped work with the Cutpurse crew and Cobar had negotiated his release. It had been hard bargaining because while the Cutpurse had liked the little scamp and felt somewhat responsible since he had provided the ale that evening he hadn’t felt responsible enough to freely release Clipper. Cobar had complained to Zekial about the conditions the man wanted to set and the payment in gold he was requiring. On a low smolder and vowing some justice for the scamp Zekial had made it a firm policy to attend each and every market faire. Somehow it seemed that there was a series of weird mishaps to the Cutpurse’s fortunes where the liberated purses would suddenly fly out of the crew’s hands and scatter on the ground or the mark would suddenly seem to spring to life and grab a hand fishing normally unnoticed in a pocket. Business was worse than bad. Pickings were nonexistent. At Cobar’s shrugs of smiling innocence the Cutpurse eventually determined that perhaps enough was enough and gaining a promise that Clipper wouldn’t set up his own crew a less onerous deal was struck and the Thieves Guild recorded Clipper as a free agent. Clipper still was obviously fearful and wouldn’t leave Jaxx’s side, but the Chandler found him adept and helpful and included him in his little band for meals, treats and even special praise. Boys did whisper about Clipper’s missing teeth, but then losing teeth was a normal life experience and soon incoming replacements and time glossed over the whole event. Jaxx doubted he would ever izmit escort bayan get Clipper to see the barber about anything to do with his teeth though. At the Boys Guild Hall giggles and shrieks and punches and prods would gradually turn to moans and groans and gasps and whimpers as physical play would transform to sexual play. As the nights became colder, the play became hotter and most of the boys would fall into slumber to a chorus of orechasmistic a cappella lullabies. Zekial had been in Tomas’ shelf almost everyday for the past two weeks, his Wizard was away on some strange journey of which he would not speak. Even the apprentice had been sent in some different direction with a list of tasks Zekial could not read. Tomas was happy to have him nightly as it limited the space available in the sleeping shelf and thus only one of the smallest boys could wiggle his way beneath, behind, between them. Tomas always laughed that the tiny boys seemed to be the wildest as they fearlessly explored their sex and the sex of those around them. Of course he laughed that they also were the quickest to squeal their orechasm and drop off to sleep. Tonight was no different. The Master Weaver had a new Bobbin Boy and the lad could not have been more than four birthmoons old. His long straggly hair had been shaved right off as being much too dangerous around the looms and on his fourth day of tending the shuttles he had finally gotten up enough courage to ask the older Doffing Boy where he slept at night. Finding out about the heaven of the Boys Guild and its warmth had brought him scampering in. This first night he had proceeded to break every rule and trip over a boy sleeping near the doorway and then fall into a sleeping shelf full of older boys already well into sacred red orechasm. Needless to say he was punched, pounded and tossed out of the shelf and would have been totally evicted from the Hall except Tomas came in at that moment. Recognizing that he didn’t know this bald and frightened urchin, Tomas scooped him up and passed him in to Zekial who was already stretched out and munching on an apple he had found in the Wizard’s tower. Giving the tyke a piece of the apple he cut another for Tomas and the two older boys settled the youngster and found out his name and where he worked. Tomas soon had Berk giggling and understanding the basic rules of the Guild. Zekial found out that he had no family anywhere and had been wandering when the Weaver found him near the forest. The promise of food had lead him to go with the man and although he felt funny without his hair, he did have two meals a day now and was happy if he could also have the Guild Hall as a warm place to sleep. Tomas told him it would be fine, just be careful where he stepped when it was dark. Now that his eyes had adjusted he could see the boys sleeping near the doorway and he promised to be careful. When Berk saw Zekial’s hand sneak beneath Tomas’ shirt and begin a rhythmic rubbing he asked what Zekial was doing. Having finished the apple Zekial had both hands free and arranged the tyke so that he could experience the pleasure instead of try to understand some strange words about it. Berk was soon cooing as his little lance loved the attention. Within minutes Berk gave a little squeal and his rigid lance tried to poke right through Zekial’s hand. Immediately Berk wriggled away from the suddenly too intense touch and curled up at Tomas and Zekial’s feet and was sleeping within seconds. Zekial returned his attention to Tomas’ lance which welcomed it readily. Since that day on the ship when Tomas had ridden Zekial with abandon the two boys were more deeply connected. Tomas could feel when Zekial thought of him now even if they were apart. Zekial could almost feel Tomas’ small touch across his living stones at the strangest times of day and he would quiz Tomas about it later. It seemed bawdy talk among the printers was enough to make Tomas think of Zekial’s lance at almost any time. Tonight Zekial concentrated on making the best possible red orechasm for Tomas. Tomorrow the Wizard would return and Zekial did not know when he might be back in the sleeping shelf. Tomas’ mind was swirling in yellow orechasm as he felt Zekial’s slender fingers pull his own loose lance skin all the way up and over its head. A squeeze at the top and a small twist sent pleasure shooting back down the lance and up his backbone where it danced across the goose bumps before flaring behind his eyelids. The twist repeated. The flare reignited. The fingers pushed the scrunched up skin back across the head, bumping across the connection to the stalk and down, down, down the shaft where they jounced the living stones aside as the fingers went deeper and deeper following the pole as it dived toward its root inside his bottom. A squeeze, a twist and another barrage of flares coursed upwards towards his eyes. The flares died not quite in vain; although his eyes had rolled back into his head the orange dazzle of the light still registered in his brain. It would not need much more orange to climb into precious red. The fingers squeezed and squeezed the root of his lance bombarding brain cells already knocked akilter. They left the root and gathered up his living stones and pulled them together and up, up away from the safety of his pelvis. The stones whined DANGER. The stones screamed PLEASURE. The purse splurged extra folds to loosen and stretch and flex the joy of soft and supple skin. The fingers knocked the stones together and rolled them round and round trying to twist their filaments into cable. The stones tensed, danced, tried to pull away. The fingers insisted. The stones gave up resistance and burst into blossom thus opening hips and thighs and raising lance and pubic bone and releasing tiny drops of sweet boy nectar that raced through the chicane of twisting intracosmic pathway and shoved the tiny membrane within aside as they flowed and then oozed out the pursed lips of the lance head for the very first time. Tomas managed a guttural croak as red exploded in his lance head, his bottom, his stones and his brain all at the same time. His legs were so rigidly extended that his tiny drops were almost plastered to the sleeping shelf roof as involuntary spasms continued to wrack his anatomy. Had one seen only the spasms it would have appeared a total spastic fit. The only one looking was Zekial and he was smiling at the success of his endeavors. Tomas collapsed against the bottom of the sleeping shelf and shivered the remaining spasms. He instinctively pulled Zekial’s arm around himself and curled up with Zekial spooned against his backside and Zekial’s hand continuing to flex the loosening purse. Zekial sighed as his own lance found its way inside the twitching hole. It took no more strokes than half a dozen dozens and Zekial’s nectar was plashing about and glazing Tomas’ wildly palpitating depths. Tomas’ stones tried desperately to expel more nectar as spontaneous orechasm wracked the channel of his inner passage. The scent and heat of nectar, sweat, boy bottom and three well rubbed lances lulled the boys into Berk’s vivid youngling dreams: the dream dragon didn’t stand a chance against the dreamers’ heroically magnificent youth. Tomas started to stretch through his toes but they bumped up against something soft and hard all at the same time. As his body came awake he giggled that his bum told him it was sticky once again and as he began to feel out with his feet to stretch his legs without waking whoever was sleeping down there his living stones sang a little song of how they were happy and sad all at the same time. He remembered the incredible feeling of the tiny oozing of boy nectar flowing up and through his lance and then his left stone scrinched and he winced and remembered the pressure of the stones being tied almost in a knot. Both stones wished him happy good morrow and please be careful how you move today. He promised them he would. He could just make out the bald head down by his feet and then remembered Berk coming into his sleeping shelf and Zekial pleasuring the tyke before doing his magic on and in Tomas. Tomas carefully crawled out of the shelf and made his way outside the Boys Guild Hall where the fresh crisp air of Snow Moon froze his breath into an instant cloud and his eyelashes into tiny icicles. He sprinted for the middens and its fetid warmth. Finishing his business he reminded himself to get a new piece of soiled paper for his pocket and he sprinted back for the rear door of the Print Shop. While it wasn’t warm izmit sınırsız escort inside it also wasn’t frigid and he used some of the Fireday paper to rekindle the banked coals and get the stove creating its welcome heat. Taking the water bucket outside he broke through the skin of ice at the fountain and made quick trips to fill the Print Shop vessels. He laughed with Cobar as the Baker’s Boy came outside from the hot ovens in just his loin wrap and shivered as he quickly piled Tomas’ arms with wood. The two boys made fast work together restocking the Bakery and then the Printers. Cobar had fresh hot sweet and slashed buns ready for them and was all puffed up proud that he had made the dough, kneaded it and watched it rise and then bake all on his own. Tomas gave him a huge hug of thanks and congratulations. Cobar’s lance was so hard beneath his loin cloth that Tomas thought the boy was carrying a club. Just then the Master Baker came in and sampling one of Cobar’s bakings he gave his approval and then suggested they go to Cobar’s little hideaway and perhaps he could sample more of Cobar’s buns. Cobar smiled and managed to make his loin cloth drop onto the floor as he first looked directly at the Master Baker and then took the man’s hand and led him toward his sleeping space. Tomas now knew it was a club that had been so barely hidden under the loin cloth. Tomas had another bun and listened as the groaning and grunting of the Baker intermingled with the sighs and pants of Cobar. Soon Tomas heard the Baker almost yelling, “By Fornax boy, put it in harder! Harder! Yes! Use that pin to knead my buns. Faster! That’s it! I’m risen! I’m toasted! You’ve scorched me!” This last was almost a scream and then Tomas could hear the deep growl and howl that must have been Cobar as he basted the inside of the Baker’s buns with his egg wash. Soon Tomas heard the Baker calling, “Where’s that Special Flagon boy. Here, have a taste, we must keep your stones healthy and that rolling pin polished. Tomorrow perhaps we’ll work on several quick breads, we’ll see how fast your pin can recharge.” Soon Cobar came with smiling face and glistening but hardly less rigid lance from his alcove and sat with Tomas at the table and finished the last of the hot slashed buns. The boys giggled as the Baker emerged and was fussing with his apron stings and slapping great clouds of flour from his chest and stomach to cover a massive wet spot. He looked at neither boy as he went shouting into the main mixing room where journeymen and apprentice bakers quickly at least appeared to be hard at work. Cobar thanked Tomas for the help in carrying in the wood and as he rewrapped his loin cloth and hid the now somewhat diminished club he told Tomas to be sure and come back at daysend, he had heard they would have the experimental Baker’s and Butcher’s Parroti Kuuko, the meat bun, and surely there would be some left over as it was still rather expensive and unknown. The day was full of small tribulations and rants from the Master Printer. The Chief Imposer was suffering for his late night cups and nothing seemed to be going right at his table. Scowling his anger at the Printer’s Devil who he claimed gave him such jumbled sorts he kicked over the pile of spoiled papers and sent it cascading across the pressroom floor. The Master Printer quickly sent Tomas out of the shop, he was having none of the Imposer’s idiocy and didn’t want the boy accidentally caught up if things got more difficult. Yelling at the Imposer and his assistant the Master Printer made them gather all the paper and restack it before he sent them home with orders to not come back until their heads were on straight. Tomas peeked in the back door as they were leaving and came back in to see what he could do to get things back to normal. The Master Printer waved him and the pressmen back to work on things that were ready to print as he and the Compositer tried to sort out the mess at the Imposing Table. As Tomas worked with the pressmen it became quickly obvious that the Imposer had just stacked the spoiled papers willy nilly because Tomas had to go back and forth numerous times to the pile to get the type of paper the pressmen needed. Usually the heaviest inked spoils were added to the bottom of the pile because they were mostly good only for fire making and type cleaning. Lesser soiled sheets could be used as make ready, or even have areas torn and printed as area proofs. Full proofs were set aside at the top of the pile as they would be shredded at the end of the day for fire making, middens sheets and other uses that wouldn’t find their way back to the actual job client. Now the pile was a jumble and Tomas knew he would need to spend the better part of the evening sorting things back out. His irritation was pretty strong and when he received a passing thought from Zekial that the Wizard had returned Tomas kind of snapped back at Zekial. It wasn’t ten minutes and Zekial was bursting through the Print Shop door to see what was the matter and if Tomas was alright. Chagrinned, Tomas admitted it was really nothing and told him about the jumbled pile. When Tomas asked about the Wizard Zekial said the man had immediately gone to shower and change and that he had to hurry back. He gave Tomas a quick hug and was soon speeding back toward the Tower. As he entered the Wizard’s study it was like a wall of bricks had fallen on him. Sudden dawning realization came surging up from Tomas’ problem and Zekial’s past. He breathlessly told the Wizard, “I know how to see where the slavers had been and maybe where they were going!” The Wizard quickly focused on the boy, “Well, surprise me more Zekial. Tell.” “In my village I was one of the few that could read. I don’t know how I learned, but soon it was known and I was often called by the fisher captains to help them. They could navigate with the charts because they knew the land outlines and islands and other obvious things, but there were always notes and legends and information items on the charts that they could not read. If they were heading some place unfamiliar or where they hadn’t been in a while they would have me double check and read everything on the charts to them.” “Yes, I can see that you would be doing something like that. I’ve told you from the start that you seem to have some special gifts. But how does reading what is there for all of us to see a help? We all can read too, yes?” the Wizard asked. “Well yes, but maybe not. This is something like what you do that you do not even realize. You often laugh that I am curious, but you may not know how curious.” Zekial blushed and looked away. “Ah, well, when you study something new you pile the desk and the table and sometimes even the floor with book after book and scroll after scroll. Then you have me put them all away. Do you know I am very particular about how I put them away?” Zekial asked and the Wizard inclined his head to encourage the boy to continue. “I start with the vary last one you used. I often don’t understand it, or can’t sometimes even read the language it is in, but somehow it always seems to tell me what it was that you were looking into. Then I go back to the very first one you looked at. You always just take out a new one and use it on top or beside the older one, so I can pretty well follow the same path that you follow through them. I don’t begin to learn what you must find in these books, but I learn so much in such a logical progression that often I can find myself a few steps behind you in what I know.” Seeing the Wizard’s raised eyebrows Zekial blushed again and rushed on, “Long steps I know, far from what you know, but much more than I knew when I started.” The boy gave the Wizard a huge smile as he continued, “On a ship it is like that too! The Captain will go from chart to chart as he either plans or completes his voyage. He hardly ever puts a chart away, a sudden storm or a misguided star reading and he finds himself right back on the previous chart, so he keeps it out. The new one simply goes on top.” “Like I do with you, we can look at the top chart and know where the voyage ended. If we work back through them we can see where it has gone and perhaps even find out where it started. Sometimes the stacks are just a great circle and everything about what the ship has done can be seen by the order of the charts. Even small pin pricks can show where the Captain measured between two places and drink stains can mark the areas that were of no interest,” Zekial continued. The Wizard rose from his chair, “And we have the charts, in the exact order they were found, rolled up and waiting in the Tower work room. I must send to the King, he may want a Naval Officer to be with us and consider the things we may discover.” The Wizard reached out and tousled Zekial’s hair, “Well done again lad, you did indeed surprise me.”

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