They have lost nine crews from the attack and one more by accident, and fifteen more are severely and lightly wounded – even one seaman get his leg amputated. Robert and the officers on board give the dead a proper burial – cover them all with their hammocks and drown them into their grave in the sea.
Sheena, the captain didn’t suffer any more wound during that attack, thanks to her loyal sidekick, Ellephar. She is almost fully recovered now, and contributed by arranging rations for the crews due to short of provisions.
But still, with those troubles on hand they managed to work together as a team and finally reached their destination before their provisions run out.
The fishing harbor town of Haran is really a busy town. Located near the city of Rand, you can see hundreds of fishing boats docking and sailing around there. Some fish in Petravia Ocean, and the rest in Ingram Channel and Darude Sea.
Fish smell reeks the air and filth makes the ground slippery, but the people in the harbor don’t care. All they’re thinking is to make a living through their catches.
As Robert climbs up the dock from the skiff, he sees a crowd chattering loudly from afar. Apparently they are looking at a fisherman with a large barracuda fish on his lap. The barracuda catcher looks around him proudly, enjoying the praises. Even the fishmongers’ croaks are not loud enough, muffled off in the commotion.
‘What did you say? Fishman fins? And you brought twenty five?’ says an overly fat fishmonger with an extra-large nose, hyper-bushy beard and super-thick lips to Sheena. The female corsair just nods and the fishmonger shakes his head. ‘This is unbelievable. Show me the goods and then we talk business.’
Sheena snaps her fingers and four seamen come, each carrying a crate of salted fishman fins.
‘... Twenty four, twenty five. Yup, they’re genuine, all right. Okay, I’ll give you three hundred crowns for all these.’
‘Three hundred crowns?’ says Sheena, irritated. ‘Don’t fool me, fatso. This thing is worth at least a hundred crowns – EACH!’
‘That’s for premium-grade fins. These moldy, fourth-grade fins are only worth ten crowns or less.’
‘Moldy? Moldy, your foot! Don’t think I can’t distinguish first-grades to second-grades, let alone fourth! Moreover, we didn’t steal them; we killed them fresh when a school of these monsters attacked our ship.’
‘Your story, ma’am,’ says the fishmonger mockingly. ‘Is like a story of a shark with legs. Just drop it. I think you are just some pirates trying to sell your loots, no matter how perfect your disguises are. So, as an honest trader, I choose to be generous. Tell you what, a thousand crowns for all this and I won’t report you to the authorities. That’s my rock-bottom price.’
‘And I think you’re mistaken, my dear sir. We may look like pirates, but these things aren’t our loots! Okay, so I choose to be generous too. You may choose either you pay us two thousand crowns for all this, or one thousand five hundred plus a free demonstration of how I cut your big bad belly open like I fine-cut these fins!’
The fishmonger’s face turns pale in terror on hearing that. He takes a look at Sheena’s face, then at Robert’s, Zach’s and the seamen’s. After he is sure that they are serious with their threats, risking exposure just to get a fair price, he finally gives in, saying,
‘Oh, okay! Okay! Here, a two thousand crowns note to the Melchior Bank.’
He takes out a quill and a sealed parchment, scribbles on it and hands it to Sheena, bellowing,
‘You guys are mad! Mad, I say! How am I supposed to sell this, huh? I have a wife and five kids to feed, no!? That’s almost my entire saving!’
Sheena hands the parchment to Zach, the ship accountant. After Zach gives his o.k. with a nod, Sheena turns to the fishmonger and replies coolly.
‘Don’t worry. They are really good goods, premium-grade, so you can sell them for a fair profit. The rest is your business. As for me, my business here is done.’
With her sweetest smile, Sheena walks away from the stall, followed by Robert, Zach and her four men.
Mihir's Top Reads of 2017 - As has been the pattern with these lists of mine, January seems to be the best time for posting these. I hope our readers will forgive this idiosyncrasy of...
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