Thraxas and the Ice Dragon / Траксас и леденият дракон: Втора глава

Английски оригинал Перевод на български

Chapter Two


The next day arrives, dull, overcast, and windless. I wake up shivering. I brought my magic warm cloak with me, but we've been sharing it. Lisutaris slept in it last night. I stride out onto the deck.


"I've had enough of this," I declare. "I'm as cold as a frozen pixie, not to mention wet as a mermaid's blanket. I'm stuck on a small boat with no beer, a depressed Sorcerer and an angry barbarian woman. I'm sick of it."


I look up at the sky, and offer up a prayer to whichever Gods might be watching in these parts.


"How about taking us back to land?"


Nothing happens. We remain becalmed. I start to feel annoyed, and shake my fist at the sky. "I demand you take this boat back to shore!"


Lisutaris arrives on deck and looks at me questioningly. "What are you doing?"


"I'm demanding that the Gods take us back to land."


"That's going to work," grunts the Sorcerer, and sits down wearily at the side of the boat. "I'll catch us some fish for breakfast."


"I don't want fish. I'm fed up with fish. I want beer and I want to get back ashore."


I start shaking my fist at the sky again. "Saint Quatinius? How about some help? We built statues of you all over Turai. Shouldn't you be doing something in return? I can't keep going on fish much longer. I need meat. And beer. A lot of beer."


We remain becalmed. I feel irritated at Saint Quatinius. As a patron saint he's really not much help. Makri appears from her cabin, shivering.


"Who is Thraxas shouting at?"


"Saint Quatinius."


"Has he gone mad?"


Lisutaris nods. "He seems to have. Too much fish."


"We'd still have some venison left if he'd been able to control himself."


I glare at Makri. When we fled the city, I did have the foresight to bring along a large joint of venison. Properly rationed, it might have lasted for some time. Perhaps unwisely, I ate it all in one night, feeling in need of some proper sustenance.


"So I ate all the venison. A man of my proportions can't keep going on fish. I need meat. And beer."


I shake my fist at the sky again, and complain to Saint Quatinius.


"You couldn't expect Thraxas to go for a week without beer without cracking up," says Makri, sitting down next to Lisutaris to share the warm cloak.


I glare at her. "At least I'm trying to do something."


"Do what? None of us even believe in Saint Quatinius."


I gaze up to the sky. "Please do not abandon me because of this Orcish infidel, great Saint Quatinius. It's not my fault she doesn't believe in you."


"Hey!" yells Makri. "I'm not an Orc. And stop shouting to that imaginary saint."


"Ignore her, Saint Quatinius. Do not punish an honest Turanian citizen because he has the misfortune to be cast adrift with an unbelieving Orc."


Makri storms up and stands in front of me. "Will you stop calling me an Orc!"


Makri has one quarter Orcish blood. It can be a sensitive subject.


"Maybe if you said a prayer as well we might get somewhere."


Makri sneers. "I don't believe in your Western gods."


"Well how about your Orcish ones?"


"I don't believe in them either."


I raise my hands in supplication. "You see what I have to put up with, Saint Quatinius? Send me back to land and I'll donate money to the nearest church."


Makri growls in frustration. She looks up at the grey clouds above. "Saint Quatinius, I'll start believing in you if you just get me ashore so I can escape from this oaf."


At that moment a wind springs up. Lisutaris rises to her feet. "It's coming from the south. If this keeps up it might get us back to land."


"Aha!" says Makri, and looks smug. "Now who's the unbeliever?"


"What do you mean?"


"It was my prayer that brought the wind."


"Stop talking nonsense," I say.


"Nonsense? I didn't see the saints paying any attention to you shaking your fist. Hardly surprising. Then I make a polite request and here we are, on our way." She turns to Lisutaris. "You remember that time I stopped the rain in Turai? Do you think I might have some hidden religious powers?"


I shake my head in disgust, then march to the bow to peer into the distance, hoping for a glimpse of land. There's no telling how far south we've drifted in the past week, but now at least we're heading in the right direction.


"So how much money do you have in mind?" asks Lisutaris.




"You promised to donate to the church if Saint Quatinius took us back to land."


"If we make it ashore I'll give it some thought."


Shrouded in mist, we drift northwards for a long time. Such a long time that I start to worry.


"What if we've gone so far west that there isn't any land left? We might just carry on till we– "


I let the sentence hang unfinished. Makri looks at me.


"I keep telling you Thraxas, the world is round. You can't fall off the edge."


"I don't see why you're so sure about that."


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