We left Sewe on the Albatross early in the morning. The voyage itself was, well, not boring, because we were busy! The Albatross is an old ship, and will be completely overhauled in Selday, but every day something would break that would have to be repaired. And then there were the semsin lessons and exercises — and jokes and play, too, of course. And prayers. The first mate is already a Master and only Fikmet was even a Journeyman, but… Even though most of us have already left, we were still with me, Fikmet, Charpatong, Feneng, Muhori, Kalyana, Leying, Puchai and Otesh — and all of us, said Master Erian, are what she called “grand-master material”. That means we can use semsin in all kinds of ways, and can come up with new ways to play with semsin. It’s great fun, but he found it exhausting! And apart from us, Mazao definitely is gifted, Senai and Diyam may be gifted, and we’re not sure about Alaba and Izewa either.

There was life in the sea everywhere, apart from fish and porpoises and so on: beings made from pure spirit, like the being that had wanted to marry Princess Lyse! They are always interesting, and interested. The dog became friends with the ship’s cat, and they would hunt big, fat rats together.

Anyway, we were busy and happy. I think that apart from Feneng, I was the one least looking forward to being in Istila again! And us the two natives, too! But, of course, we arrived, and went on shore. Here, Otesh and Puchai, as well as Alaba and Izewa decided to go to Charpatong’s dad, while Tanu decided to become a ship’s mate and stay with the Albatross.

And, of course, Feneng has to stay in Istila! Princess Lyse and Prince Fekemme told her to work in a large workshop and make wooden toys as a punishment, but I think that secretly she’s going to enjoy it. Princess Lyse’s little one already toddles, and there is another baby coming! She must have decided to break the Queen’s record! But she can handle it, she’s the biggest girl I’ve ever seen.

Istila was kind of okay — I took everyone who hadn’t been there for a tour through the harbour quarter, we had pastries at the best Iss-Peranian bakery and a good bath in the bath house. Istila must be getting big enough to have more than one bath! When I said that, Fikmet shuddered — she thinks we’re bathing much too often!

We really didn’t linger long in Istila, the Albatross has a schedule to make, so after we’d sold some paint, and the Albatross had unloaded and loaded cargo, we went on to Cuytim. Cuytim is where the Resurgence burned down the Order House, and the oil mill, but both are rebuilt now. We had some fun in Cuytim: we made the acquaintance of the Captain of the Order, Mialle. She was just like the first mate when she saw our gang of budding grand-masters, and let us do some exercises with the sworn. I skipped the fighting, like always, but was playing with seals. I also had a bit of a discussion with her about me…

I know what I want: I want to spend the rest of my life making sure that no children are bought and sold anymore, that nobody is anybody else’s property. Well, she agreed with that… But I was wondering whether I should become a member of the Order of the Sworn for that, and if so — I also don’t want to spend the rest of my life alone. There’s someone I would really miss if she weren’t with us! She said that in that case, I probably shouldn’t choose the Order, but become an ordinary Guild Runner. And also that I, and anyone else who wanted to do the same really should consider going to school in Turenay. They probably wouldn’t start us in the lowest class, though.

After that, we left, and for fun sealed up the entire Order House. We went back to the ship, but we kept watch to make sure that if there was anything going on that needed the sworn, we’d be ready to unseal the house. In effect, we gave them the evening off. Next morning, captain Mialle was a bit miffed, but also impressed that we could do this, it seems the King of Valdyas can seal off an entire town, but we’re just kids.

Then I boasted that we could do more, and she said, let’s see, so we hid the entire Order House. We made it completely invisible, for everyone and everybody. Didn’t do that for long, it really scared people, and just imagine that there’d be a boat to Istila passing that would see the Order House missing and report it to the Prince and Princess! I hadn’t been sure we could do it, but we could, and we did.

And then it was time to leave again, the tide waits for nobody!