Alcaeus spat bitterly into the street. “I agree it don’t make sense. Pirates wouldn’t keep kids for anything except rapin’, rowin’, or killin’. But they sure might sell them. The best we can hope is that their faces turn up in a foreign market somewhere and Avelot takes their fate in her hands from there.”
Lonan knew he shouldn’t speak. It was a stupid idea. He knew it. But the sea was in his ears again, and the more he thought about snickering through complaints of Shay’s antics or Cyprus tottering along at a quarter of his teenage size, the louder it got.
“Then we should go after them,” he blurted. Even Xan took pause from his pale-faced solemnity to look at Lonan in disbelief. Alcaeus stamped like an annoyed horse.
“You crazy, boy? Might as well take a facedown nap in the Ream if you want to die with Eponine so bad.”
A temper bristled up under Lonan’s tongue he hadn’t known he had left. “If I’m crazy, then everyone here’s a coward. We have sea-worthy ships, don’t we? And if that pirate plans on taking Cyprus and Shay to another queendom where we’ll never get them back, then we’d better set out now while they’re still close to shore.”
“Lonan, be reasonable, boy,” Neils extended a placating hand toward him, as if to divert a rockslide. “We’ve all taken a blow today. There’s no use in taking another. I’ve done some sailing in my day, and no ship of Serafina’s could catch a ship like that captain’s.”
“Besides,” Alcaeus butted in again. “Even good mercenaries have a way of going missing on voyages stupid as that.”
–Elyan White, “Lost and Found”