“Come on, Phin,” repeated Lucas. “You should stay for more of the festivities.”
“I have to get back to my ship. For the time being, it would be safer not being in the Argenstrath Docks.”
“Really, old chum. Would a few hours make that much of a difference?” asked Lucas, twisting up his face.
“He has a point, Lucas,” said Abigail. “He won’t be of much use without his ship and contacts. He has to protect it.”
“Thanks, Abigail,” responded Phinneus, slightly annoyed. “But she is right. I have to speak with the other captains and figure out what this will all mean for us in the coming months.”
Lucas, reluctantly, nodded in agreement and Phinneus walked off and disappeared into the crowd.
His mind was racing at the recent news. Yes, he had to speak with the other captains under his command, but he also needed to get to Clarusia. He needed to speak with the Brotherhood.
“A prime minister,” he muttered to himself. “Mordecai Marigold, the voice of the Council. What would this mean for the Order...or the country.”
He finally made his way through the crowded marketplace, and quickly turned down a side street. He saw in front of him, an entourage of guards and officials walking down the middle of the street. Looking down, he stepped aside and continued moving forward as quickly as he could.
The group had passed, and Phinneus hastened himself.
“Phinneus Cromwell?” came a voice from behind him.
Phinneus stopped dead in his tracks and slowly turned. His heart began pounding.
“I thought it was you. You have changed a great deal over these past years.”
Phinneus struggled to articulate a response. “Mordecai. It has been a long time.”
“You will address him as Mr. Prime Minister, or Sir!” shouted a stout man standing next to Mordecai.
“Calm yourself, Reginald,” said Mordecai. “Phinneus here is an old acquaintance from my days at the academy. I will admit that I would not have passed first year physics without his aide. I must say, the beard suits you.”
Mordecai was nudged by Reginald, who then spoke quietly and quickly with him. All the while Phinneus shuffled his feet nervously and looked at each of the men surrounding the new prime minister.
“Phinneus, please forgive me. As you can imagine, I am quite busy today.”
“That is quite alright Mordecai. I am in a bit of a rush myself.”
“Oh? Where to,” he responded.
“My ship. I…have a shipment of…mustard seed from Titania bound for Kuu.”
“We will have to catch up soon. Good luck on your delivery.”
The two men shook hands and locked eyes. Phinneus saw a slight smirk on his face and a glint in his eye. It made him even more uneasy than he already felt.
“Until next time, Phinneus.”
“Until next time.”
The group turned and began walking down the road once more. Phinneus did not know how to react to the encounter that had just occurred. Even after all these years, he recognized Phinneus. Or, perhaps Phinneus was being watched.