The Fifth Path (17/30)

Nabua’s consolidated note pages assembled into a new journal on Sivan 12th

Notes for Iyar 16th: Got captured. Pirates have engine too. Eric dead. All stuff stolen. Got off boat. Only me. No companions and no notebook and no possessions but citizenship papers. Pirates had agreement with Xexan to release citizens captured. Hard to convince really Xexan citizen even with papers. Tried to get journal but failed. Black captain lady wanted it. Sent out on small boat to be returned to Xexan. Port authority surprised to see me. Let back in. Can only leave Xexan one more time before have to follow normal leave procedures. Went to find old man. Took a day. Was playing Xiwan. Explained situation. Could not help much because pirates technically allies with Xexan. Agreement specifically mentions Han not being able interfere. Said reminding me things not interfering technically. Talked about story others learned about while I playing with king. About problem in capital years ago. Then mentioned rumors about pirate leader targeting Xexan. Could put two and two together. Thanked Han. Had to get small bit of money. Went to poetry recital. People paid for foreigner to recite poems. Just enough. Hired boat to take me where I need to go. Got to recruit a notorious pirate captain to take down pirates.

Notes for Iyar 21st: Managed to get captured by right sort of pirates. First step after that hardest. Convince actually have useful info. Need to talk to absolute leader. Manage to talk to captain of ship was captured by. Lots of talking about reason. Hard. Not good at changing minds. Need Uras for diplomacy. Especially hard in Xexan. Still not good. Do enough. Transferred to lead ship. Have appointment with head leader admiral man. Hope can do this.

Notes for Iyar 29th: Able to convince leader. Hated that was citizen of Xexan. But hated pirates with agreement with Xexan more. Funny how things go. Man famous for killing pirates becomes most dangerous pirate after kicked from job. Vows revenge on people of Xexan for removing him. Still hates pirates though and wants only his to attack Xexan. Hates Xexan making agreements with pirates even more. Think sign of weakness. Wants pure isolationist Xexan free from outside influence. But working with one outsider to kill many more OK. That can play Xiwan and speak Xexan little helps I think maybe. Maybe just makes mad but he willing to work. Info also very important to have. If not had seen maps and notes in boat with old pirates then have nothing to trade. But saw where they would be in several weeks. Able to set trap at slave market because know when arrive. Spent last week surveying slave market and making plans. Show plan and admiral agrees. Exchange for info get safe companions and all stuff of ours pirates had taken. Hope in time. Pirate leaders seemed creepy. Could hurt companions. Annoyed so long till plan enact. Still weeks away. Have to be patient. Work on fighting little maybe. Mostly work on Xexan and work on plan. Got to make sure is secret. Get everyone in to town slowly. Set up places to hide. Set up disguises. Plan very complex. Many moving parts. Will work if careful though. Will make work.

Notes for Sivan 1st: Still working on plan enactment. Got some of more trusted people in town early. Managed to sneak several cannons into town without arousing suspicion. Slowly getting them to needed position. Need to ensure that no hint of plan reaches target pirates. Good plan for several cannons. Will have cannon sale that day. Bring out in front of all. Make too expensive to buy and pretend not loaded and ready. Others in houses of people trusted. Have to move in dead of night when no one can see. Next week most crew members start arrive. Do not want waiting too long or get bored. Give them chance to enjoy selves for few days then be ready for day of action. While not overseeing plan been spending time with captain of other ship. In charge of first attack group. Willing to talk to me and teach Xexan. Fun to discuss plan in context of strategy for attacks. Not know much about fighting tactics. Together have made plan better. Wish better with people. Maybe romance indicators but maybe crazy. Would only last short time probably but is very pretty and smart. Not know what is normal between genders in Xexan society though. Do not want to offend. Could throw everything to chaos if in bad situation with important leader in attack. Need to ask others about subtly. Research good first step. Maybe bad idea. Did vow give up stuff like romance when became scholar. Long time ago. Far far away. Hope can determine soon though. Not knowing very distracting.

Notes for Sivan 10th: Ship arrives tomorrow. Attack is day after. After bit of slave market. Bought clothes and have money to try and buy companions before fight even starts. All grey even veil. Not want to be recognized by enemy pirates. Need to be very careful now. Greatest chance of enemy suspicious is during next two days. Everything set now. Just need execute. Everyone either hiding or impersonating someone with reason to be here. Moved people in slow. No suspicion from locals. Cannons on target. Put small boats in certain places to force enemy ship to dock in one spot. Romance signals real. First kiss in very long time. Nice romantic dinners while planning to murder pirates. Promised to show me her ship. Promised to teach her Hishtu. Wonder if have to hide from Baal. Romance forbidden for Scholar but many rules ignored in outlands. Not know what do if forbidden by Baal. Want to finish journey. Really like lady though. Good at Xiwan. Maybe have Anatu ask as hypothetical. If OK then tell. If not then not. Think Anatu not be jerk and tell if ask not to. Plus goodwill from saving lives means better shot. Got to save lives first though. Moot point if they dead. Could try to finish journal alone but seem pointless. Want to finish with companions. Day after tomorrow will be ready. No flaw in plan. Get damn journal back.

Notes for Sivan 12th: Didn’t get damn journal back. Got everything else back. No journal though. Black lady captain took it and got away. Trying to crack code. Do not believe can but Anatu disagrees. Seems to think lady captain can do anything. Hard to talk about though. Kept getting quiet when we tried. Lots of thin scars on body. Uras stopped me after tried to ask too many questions about enemy captains. Told me later it was bad to do. Some kind of mental wound. Read about before. Not really believe in. Thought maybe only for weak people. Anatu anything but that. Makes hard to figure how to chase them if asking about is off limits though. Tonight is chance to relax though. Introduce to admiral and worry about next thing tomorrow. Today very exciting.

Early part of day nice. Spend with Captain Mae. That is name of lady friend. Walk casually through town while inspecting troops. Pose as lovey dovey couple. Double layer deception. Citizens only see couple and not know about inspection. Pirates see inspection and think couple is disguise. Was idea of Mae. She had to be with attack crew so left her after inspection. Gathered money and put on all of grey outfit. Had avoided parts of town with lots of enemy pirates for inspection because face not covered but now could head to slave market. Inspected slave stock. Saw pirate captains. Hard not to call out when saw Uras. Not see Anatu which worried. Try to listen in to pirate conversations. Hear no suspicion from them. Make happy. Plan go well. Wait for slave market start. Try to buy Uras. Random lady very rich and counters though. Starts taking Uras away. Consider timing. Worried will miss attack. Was only needed for planning. Nothing go wrong if I not there. Go after Uras.

Rent horse. Chase after carriage. Tail it. Stops at inn after few hours. Stop too then watch to see what room Uras in. Move around to try and break in window and rescue. Jumps out and stabs me before can save him. Not stabbed too bad. Worried about time left before attack. Get him to follow and try to explain while we ride on horse. Horse not like two passengers. Goes slow because tired. Tell Uras basic gist. About pirate fighting pirates tonight. Do not tell name of admiral. Want to be surprise. Maybe forgot name from story in capital but think possibility of remembering make worth keeping secret. Probably should not be thinking about dramatic reveals when racing back to save life of good friend. Nothing better to do though. Just riding on horse.

We make back after attack starts but before over. Able to get into ship. Move through ship. Able to go safely cause attack already wiped most enemy pirates out. Run into lady friend but explained about maybe having to hide relationship to Uras. She still gives wink and blows kiss when Uras not looking. She goes back to leading attack on well defended part of ship. Uras and I search for Anatu. Run into her in hallway. Seems to be leading small army. Good to see again. Hugs all around. Does not look so good. Both lost tons of weight. Uras hands rough and calloused with lots of bruises. Anatu looks ok at first but when really look covered in scars and small wounds. Both act sort of weird. Maybe just been a month without talking to them. But being slave for month maybe cause mental problems. Or emotional. Glad did not have to deal with for longer than day or two. Maybe could argue whole life has been slave to Baal but different sort of slave. Nothing quite this physical in my life. Go to gather stuff after quick reunion. Find most stuff except journal. Want to go after journal but Anatu does not want to. Annoyed because want journal. Figure to late for me to matter though. Either they have escaped already or they have been killed or caught already. Instead we go to help finish off pirates. Able to spend some time with Mae. Do not actually kill any but see many killed. Anatu and Uras both kill some. Seem pretty emotional about it. Saw Uras keep cutting a pirate after dead. Mae killed a few as well but in detached way. Well not detached. Seemed to enjoy the fighting but was not invested in the killing itself. Not too many casualties on our side. Surprise and attacking a split force with numerical superiority had won day. Or at least boat part of day. Wanted to know how slave market attack had gone. More open ground. Less cannons. More confusion. After boat finished we went to slave market. First made plans to meet up with Mae and admiral later. Captains had led small group of pirates in effective defense then managed to break out of area and flee. Most pirates killed though and all slaves freed. Journal still gone though so annoyed but can count day as success. Led group back to inn had been staying at. Both turned to journals right away. Or wanted to. Had food brought up and that drew them out of writing for bit. Uras devoured food like had not had in years. Not as bad for Anatu but still general food destruction. Once food gone then both returned to writing. Decided good idea too. Since journal officially missing decided to consolidate notes into new journal. Hope will be able to combine with old journal soon. Lots of time writing in code for nothing if lost. Messenger comes while writing. Apparently time to go meet the admiral. Thought could wait till tomorrow but guess not. Write more later.

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