Extract: Unseasoned Adventurer (Thordric series bk 3)

None of them, especially Thordric and Kal, were used to going this long without a bath. Lyanis laughed at them, saying that the only time for washing was when it rained.

As she wasn’t human she didn’t sweat like they did, and simply couldn’t understand what was making them feel so grimy. She did, however, notice the distinct whiff of week old body odour radiating from them, but far from being repulsed, she thought it was pleasant.

‘It’s just your natural smell. I don’t see why you should be ashamed of that,’ she told Thordric, Kal and Hamlet after they’d had a particularly long discussion about what they would all do at the first sight of water. Unfortunately, they were now flying over a vast desert which carried on far across the border into Fyoras, so it would be at least another three days before they found even the merest trickle. ‘And you,’ she said to Ourellus, who was also feeling distinctly dirty and itchy, ‘shouldn’t be complaining either. I don’t remember you ever washing except during a downpour when you were a child.’

‘That was then, before I knew how good being clean felt,’ he said defensively, as Thordric shot him a disgusted look.

Lyanis pouted and sat down next to the food bag, rummaging around for more of the bobbled fruit. The sun was scorching hot now, heating the planks of the ship so that it burnt their hands if they touched the wood for too long. Their water flasks were also nearly empty; they’d had to ration it out so they had enough to last until they got to Fyoras.

No-one was happy about the situation, and their conversation had become snappy and waspish. Hamlet stayed in the cabin reading, and Ourellus and Lyanis spoke about times before they had been frozen. Kal and Thordric had given up practicing their shielding spell, as neither of them had the energy to do it. Instead they played a game of chess, betting that the loser would be the one to wring the sweat out of the other’s clothing. Kal was good at chess, seeing opportunities and taking them before Thordric could even remember how each piece could be used.

So far, Thordric had wrung out Kal’s clothes five times already. It was foul, but at least it gave them something to do while they waited to reach the border.

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