The sun is already warm on Ma Nao, the bay shining like a turquoise in the morning light when a group of ship flying the colors of the Children of the Spear enter the bay. On their prow, Rain Pearl is resting after her ordeal of the last few days.
As she sets foots on the docks, and thanks the captain, she stumbles upon the crew of the Temeraire and recognises the circle. They greet each other warmly, commenting on the unlikeliness of meeting so far from Dir-Jal, and invite the obviously tired Rain Pearl in their bungalow. Here, she tells them the story of how she lost her ward, recounting the pirate ambush and their capture as they were travelling towards Ysir. She turns sour as she recalls her escape and the day she spent drifting at sea before being picked up by the small fleet.
Concerned, Pragatima promises that they will help if they can. Harik and Rohim suggest asking the local admiral for help, as they already discussed the issues of piracy in the south, but Beyaloa has a better idea : grasping at the tendrils of Essence around her, she sends an Infaillible Messengers to Zapir directly. Seeing throught the eye of the cherubim, she finds him drugged in a cave, along with a dozen other bodies. Unable to respond coherently, but for now at least, alive.
They find Abduraman and tell him about the lost Star-Prince, and he agrees to send two fast ships to Baliad and Bali’n in order to look for Zapir in the local slave markets, reasoning that this is probably the fate the pirates have in mind for their prisonniers.
After a small rest, the group finally meet with Sondahk, the thaumaturge known for directing the making of the copper armors used by the ghostly guards of the archipelago. They are warmly greeted at the red tower overlooking the town. Eager the sell the cover they established, Beyaloa and Harik spend most of the dinner talking ship and establishing plans for an eventual sale. Pragatima tries to pick their host’s brain about Ami, his godblooded slave, without much success. The meal ends late, with plans made to pursue negociations in the coming days.
But as the island rests and falls into sleep, the circle leave their bungalow under cover of night. The plans have been made, the occasion ripe : tonight, before anyone can question the reason for their presence further, they will capture theBey, and try to learn more from his mouth. They cannot afford waiting more. As a warm rain starts to fall, they go over their plan once more.