Despite himself, he grinned a little at the young woman's exuberance as she and her cat flew after Sasha. It was a genuine grin of pure amusement. Something he had thought he had forgotten to do. Left alone at the ship's bow, Ferrin turned his gaze back to the island and leaned on the wooden railing of the ship. In truth, he didn't quite understand how he felt. His circumstances were so bizarre that the enormity of it eluded description. His emotions were a storm of things that he couldn't quite put a name to. He was nearly two centuries after his time, staring at the island that started the guild that took in a talented but incorrigible miscreant orphan like him, gave him a family, friends, somewhere to belong and turned him into someone he could be proud of. That very same guild had gone down in legend. The people he had known, talked with, laughed with, and fought with were famous the world over.
And all very much dead.
But yet...looking at the island, he didn't feel anything in particular. Should he? It was hot. The water was beautiful. The island looked like something out of a postcard. "Wish you where here!" it would say. He could see it now, he'd send it back to Ashe with some plants and flowers. She likes strange flora, especially flowers.
But he couldn't could he? He would never see her again.
He shook his head. No fatalistic thoughts. He would find a way back. That was one reason he was here.
He glanced back at the various member of the guild preparing, some with haste and others, like him, at their leisure. What reasons did they have for coming here? He knew that Sasha had her premonitions of danger, and while potential disasters were high on most people's priority list of things to stop, most people ran for cover instead of danger. So why were they here? The Dragonslayer had mentioned wanting to meet her dragon. But, obviously not all of them were dragonslayers. Like Ariel, the girl who had somehow his absorbed his magic. Thinking of anyone else holding his power made Ferrin feel uncomfortable. He had always felt that his magic was an important and inherent part of him. Aether magic had only ever been tamed by the Astra family, and even then only one in several generations inherited it. As far as he knew their bloodline were the only ones who could wield it. Even other mages who specialized in copying or stealing magic in one form or another couldn't master Aether, which essentially made him unique and he was perhaps a little too proud of that fact. So her sudden and inexplicable acquisition of it presented a mystery. He had spend several days thinking it over, and the most probable answer that occurred to him was that they were, possibly, distantly related.
Family. He could have blood family here. She could be something like his many greats grandnephew. Or well...
He winced. He drew in a shuddering breath and let it out slowly. He was not going to lose his composure here. But neither was he going to shy away from where that line of reasoning had taken him.
He--he had left behind his wife and an unborn child. In nearly two thousand years what had happened to them? They might have lived out their lives, gotten married, and had kids of their own. Did Ashelia resent his sudden disappearance? Did his child resent him for leaving? Did they wonder what happed? Did they ever try to find him?
Or did they forget about him. The man who vanished without a trace.
Stop. Tangent. He was on a tangent. Right. If Ariel was related to him by blood, would that change things? He unexpectedly felt a fierce surge of protectiveness. This mission may be dangerous, but if anyone were to harm her...
The wood railing cracked under his grip. Ibi erit Inferno reddere. There will be Hell to pay.
He lingered at the prow of the ship a little longer to compose himself. But as he was turning away, he thought he saw something out of the corner of his eye: movement on the island's shore. He turned back but saw nothing unusual. Trick of the eye? He wondered briefly. No, he trusted his instincts, and they were practically screaming that something was watching him. The hairs on the back of his neck stood up. Acting casual, he turned his back and pulled his shaving mirror out of a pocket. He palmed it and held it out at waist height, careful to keep it in shadow so that the sun would not glare off it. He angled it until he was able to see the shore. He watched, tiling it back and forth but he saw nothing. The feeling quickly receded but it made Ferrin uneasy. It should be uninhabited, but someone or something is on that island. And they know we are here. Wonderful. He supposed it could have been an animal, but the gaze felt too purposeful. He pocketed the mirror and looked up. Due to his idling, he was one of the last of the wizards on board still. He glanced disdainfully at the boats and sighed. They were bloody wizards, why were they all piling into bits of floating wood to row a few hundred feet? He casually walked to the railing, and in a smooth motion, jumped overboard.
He cast a spell as he fell, landing in a crouch on the water's surface, which had abruptly solidified. He cocked his head and eyed the rowboats, noting Ariel. Keep my distance for now. He thought.
"I will walk, thanks." He proclaimed instead. He extended his Gauntlet over the water. "Aquae Solidum." In a surge of magic, the sea between him and the island suddenly became still as glass in a ruler-straight path a few feet wide. The unaffected water surged and eddied around it. "I will wait for you there." He tossed over his shoulder as he strode along at an unhurried pace.
Sure, he could have frozen the water, but this was much more impressive.